Sunday, July 31, 2005

SG Evo Club Sepang 29 July 05 trackday video

Finally got round to uploading the trackday videos.

NOTE: Requires QuickTime 7 (due to H.264 codec) and a utility to un-Binhex such as WinZip to view the videos. Audio codec used was MPEG-4 AAC. Both are around 21.2 MB in size.

Two hot laps
Two not so hot laps

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The "Would You Have Been a Nazi Test"

Probably means I would be mortal enemies with Kommandant Ben.... muahaha! Round 1... FIGHT!

Der Resistance
Achtung! You are 30% brainwashworthy, 40% antitolerant, and 52% blindly patriotic
Welcome to the Resistance (Der Widerstand)! You believe in freedom, justice, equality, and your country, and you can't be converted to the the dark side.

Breakdown: Your Blind Patriotism levels are borderline unhealthy, but you show such a love of people from everywhere and a natural resistance to brainwashing, you would probably focus your energy to fight Fuehrer with furor, so to speak.

Conclusion: Born and raised in Germany in the early 1930's, you would have taken up ARMS against the oppressors. Or even your friends' oppressors. Congratulations!

Less than 5% of all test takers earn a spot in Der Resistance!

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 32% on brainwashworthy
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 79% on antitolerant
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 78% on patriotic
Link: The Would You Have Been a Nazi Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid

Exotics in Czech track day

Ferrari F430
Maserati MC12, Ferrari F430, Bugatti EB110, Mercedes-McLaren SLR, Lamborghini Murcielago, Techart 996 Turbo, these cars, and more, are featured in a Czech car forum participating in a track day.

Link to pictures (beware high-res pictures)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Friday, July 22, 2005

Legalized breaking and entering?

A tunnel used to smuggle drugs between the Canadian-American border was discovered by federal agents.

There was a disturbing section in it.

Armed with a delayed notification search warrant, agents entered the U.S. house and planted eavesdropping devices and cameras to watch the concluding months of the tunnel project.

Wtf is a "delayed notification search warrant"? Isn't it legalized breaking and entering? Doesn't this give law enforcement agencies carte blanche over what they can do? If no suspicious activity was observed, the warrant would not have been served, meaning that the people under surveillance would have not been the wiser that their privacy has been intruded upon.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Ben and McLaren F1

Ben is making me jealous once again. This is probably the second McLaren he's seen since I seem to recall him showing me a photo of another car with Florida plates. Lucky dude!

Self-Driving VW Touareg powered by OS X

A VW Touareg is driven around an obstacle course with no human intervention whatsoever using Mac OS X technology. Engine management is probably still standard though. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Mind over Machine?

Read this highly interesting article on Wired about an ongoing study investigating the effects of the human mind on machines.

The effects were small, but measurable. Since then, the same results have occurred with other experiments, such as one involving a pendulum connected to a computer-controlled mechanism. When the machine releases the pendulum to swing from a set position, participants focus on changing the rate at which the pendulum slows to a stop.

Perhaps it's time to concentrate my mind on the Toto/Powerball numbers to match my winning ticket... ;)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Traction Circle Trackday 16 July 05

Woke up at 5am to a cold and drizzly morning. Eve (bless her soul!) gave me a lift to Jimmy's place at Toa Payoh where we proceeded to meet the rest of the convoy past the Malaysian customs.

Sam asked me to drive his car since he had been up late the night before trying to get it tuned and wasn't feeling 100%. I've heard stories of his suspension being "too stiff"; even Sam himself said it was so bad that the screws were coming off his GT wing. Right then.

First stop was Links which is in Sunway. Driving the car on the fairly bumpy but damp surface, it wasn't that bad. By early morning the road had dried up and we felt more confident pushing harder. Overall the suspension's a little too hard for street use but it has a nice firm feel which would make it perfect for track. The reminder came when I took the off-ramp to Sunway a little too fast and caused the rear to kick out... the look on Sam's face was priceless; he must've thought we're going to die :p

Jimmy wanted to fit an aftermarket brake upgrade kit at Links but after some consideration decided that it wasn't worthwhile. In the meantime Sam went to dyno the car and install a Sabelt harness but ran out of time; the trackday starts at 1230 and yet we were still at Sunway at 1210.

When we got there we were greeted with an assortment of expensive machinery. A Ferrari 360, Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale, Porsche GT2, Porsche GT3, the list goes on. Of course the usual Japanese makes were well-represented; the ubiquitous WRX, Evo, Integra etc. About 40-50 cars in total.

Anyway I got to sit in Kelvin's Evo 9 RS and it was good. Mid-range torque was strong. As is usual with untuned Evos the top-end needs some work though.

All in all, it was an enjoyable trip with no major incidents.

Thanks to Jimmy, Sam, Kelvin and James for the rides.

Link to trackday photos.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Evo 9

Heard from several sources that the Evo 9, with the new MIVEC head and turbo, is showing a lot of promise.

However there have been reports that attempting to run at an overly high boost pressue at low RPMs have resulted in several failures, here and overseas. Could it be that the compressor is surging? Would be nice to have access to the compressor maps to make further analysis.

Trial by public opinion

Don't understand why the local papers have been publicizing the address of the suspect accused of murdering and dismembering Liu Hong Mei. Even the priests congregated outside the suspect's home where the murder allegedly took place in order to "pray for her spirit". Yes, it's a heinous crime, but revealing this particular piece of information prevents the suspect from receiving a fair trial since public opinion will be strongly galvanized against him.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hi Brian!

Woke up this morning and received an email from a long-lost friend of mine, Brian. I've never actually met Brian but got to know him through our common interest in video gaming; we were on Compuserve's (anyone else remember that?) Atari board (yes, it's been THAT long). Later on I learned that he was also into punk music, and was a huge fan of Shonen Knife, so much so that he was actively involved in producing a newsletter for Knifeheads. :)

I also recall sending him a poster of Vivian Chow... wonder if he still has it! :p

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

IM networks

oeyvind sent me a link to Project Gizmo, basically a Skype-like product. While I think it's good that everyone's jumping on the bandwagon and leveraging on the IM network infrastructure, I feel that some of the basics need to be in order first.

  1. Inconsistent network quality. The major IM networks are all guilty of this. No network, no communication. Get the act together, and make all the networks compatible with each other already.

  2. Unable to send offline messages. The number 1 culprit: MSN Messenger. It's year 2005, ICQ has had this feature for almost a decade, yet a multi-billion dollar company which hires the "best minds" doesn't even grok this! Instead they spend all the "R&D" dollars on stupid features like animated avatars, skins etc. Hello... why complicate things by adding an audio chat feature and having to leave "voicemail" when a simple offline IM will suffice?

  3. Unencrypted messages. Again, implementing this should be a no-brainer, but it's been put off time and again. Why? Thankfully off-the-record messaging is gaining traction, but it requires the endorsement of the majors to have any significant impact.

SAE Motorsports Engineering Symposium 2005

This is going to happen on Nov 29 to 30, the same week as the PRI (Performance Racing Industry) tradeshow.

Two seminars are scheduled:

  1. Hands-on Racecar Suspension Set-up, In Partnership with Panoz Raching School (Nov 29-30)
  2. Fundamentals of Aerodynamics Applied to Race Cars (Nov 30)

Former Race Queen now a Race Director?

Title says all.

Link here.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Aston Martin DBR9 race car

The new episode of Top Gear is out.

Jeremy covers the 1320 mile journey to Oslo, Norway, in a Mercedes McLaren SLR.

But the highlight of the show really was The Stig driving the Aston Martin DBR9 GT race car on their track.

To say this car is seriously fast would be an understatement.

The Ferrari Enzo does one lap in 1'19". Its sibling, the Maserati MC12, is a smidgen faster at 1'18"9xx.

This car is more than 10 seconds faster at 1'08"6xx.

8 pot / 4 pot Brembos

A friend has some Brembo brakes for sale:

These are not the Brembos you see on ANY road car. These are the Brembo Racing calipers, even higher spec than the Brembo Gran Turisimo.
This brake kit is similar spec to the Mitsubishi Tarmac WRC car.

Brembo Racing 8 piston calipers with tianium piston inserts
Choice of 370mm/355mm discs for 18" rims or 343mm discs for 17" rims
Complete with adaptors, alloy hats and all mounting hardware

Brembo Racing 4 piston calipers
Fits standard GSR 300mm discs
Complete with adaptors and all mounting hardware

Available for sale as calipers only or as a complete kit.
Calipers going at US$4600
Complete kit going at US$6600

Interested? Leave a comment and I'll put you in touch with him.

Top Gear Season 6 Episode 6

In this episode, Jeremy gets to drive 1320 miles in a Mercedes McLaren SLR.

But the highlight for me was the Stig driving the Aston Martin DB R9 GT car.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


This afternoon Kris asked if I was still in touch with Carbon programming for some Quicktime project he's doing. Honestly it's been so long since I've written any code that I wasn't sure if re-learning the syntax and looking up the API calls would be worth the effort. And so I recommended that he look into a RAD language like Realbasic.

For some inexplicable reason I was wondering what Andrew Barry, the person responsible for a large part of Realbasic's initial success (he wrote practically all the code in the first few releases) was doing as I half-remembered that he was looking into doing something similar after leaving Real Software. Sure enough there was link to his new BASIC interpreter called ExtremeBasic, and although it's now in alpha, it shows great promise.

The reason why you should care is that if you've taken any Object Oriented Programming 101 class far too much time is spent on maintaining the class hierarchy. To get a sense of things it takes less than 20 lines of code to get a text editor working in Realbasic.

The other thing that takes up a lot of time is the user interface, and a RAD with an IDE like Realbasic and ExtremeBasic is just going to be several orders of magnitude faster than having to go through hundreds of lines of text at a time, although this is mitigated somewhat by improving releases of xCode from Apple.

Typically RAD languages are slow from a performance standpoint but it seems that one of the design goals of ExtremeBasic is to allow inline C++ code compilation, with a related feature and that's not having to learn Yet Another Plugin Architecture to extend functionality since everyone knows C++... right? Right? :p

Can't wait to see how the final version turns out. Stay tuned...

Friday, July 01, 2005

Awesome speech by John Gardner

Much thanks to Ben who sent me a link to a transcript of a speech delivered by John Gardner at a Stanford Business School of Business Reunion event in 1989. Read it and be inspired.

Life imitates Art

Daredevil and Elektra
Yep, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner got married in secret... wonder if they turned up in their costumes for the ceremony...

SuperGT shots

Props to oeyvind for submitting this link.

Pics of race queens and of course, the cars.... enjoy!