Friday, November 18, 2005


Coming soon to a toy store near you... colored bubbles! Quaint as it may sound, producing colored bubbles is no simple feat, with the inventor having to spend a lot of time and money experimenting with various recipes. The icing on the cake though is that the colored bubbles actually lose their coloration upon contact with skin and clothes, leaving no visible trace of their evanescent existence. This required the effort of a dye chemist in creating a whole new class of dyes.

Read about how colored bubbles came to be (Popular Science)
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Amazing liquid

Watch how the liquid behaves towards the end of the clip.
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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sony rootkit fallout

Bruce Schneier raises several interesting points about the Sony rootkit fiasco... how is it that the anti-virus companies failed to take notice of this, despite the rootkit being installed for over a year? And what about the poor response after the exposé? Shouldn't class action lawsuits be taken up against these anti-virus companies as well?

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

ICT schedule is out

WTF... sibeh siong schedule.... full ops plus IPPT and range... not looking forward to this round of ICT man. :(
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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Autocar (ASEAN edition) Nov 05

OK normally I don't bother to "defend" a bad review of an Evo so long as it's justified but this article is so full of egregious reporting that it deserves mention.

In this issue they try to find "Britain's Best Driver's Car" and they start off by categorizing the cars in contention. So the Evo 9 is grouped with a Nissan Nismo-tuned 350Z and a BMW 330i. They drive the cars around the same track, in both dry and wet conditions.

Now get this. They supply a graph showing the average speed of all 3 cars from start to finish. The x-axis shows distance between turns (a total of 6), and the y-axis is normalized to show average speed in kilometers per hour. From the graph, it is painfully obvious that the Evo 9 has a lower overall average speed. Before T1 its average speed is about 90 km/h while the other 2 cars are doing closer to 125 km/h. That's a full 35 km/h difference! The only time the Evo comes out ahead is before T2, where it does 170.4 km/h compared to 155.8 km/h for the 330i, and 162.7 km/h for the 350Z. The rest of the way, the Evo's average speed is much less than the other 2 cars (the Evo's average speed curve is below those of the other 2 cars). Since speed is a function of distance and time, and since distance is fixed, that would mean the Evo has an overall lower average speed compared to the 2 cars. Right?

Well if you turn to page 77, here are the lap times...

Dry times
Evo 9: 82.5 sec
Nismo 350Z: 84.7 sec
BMW 330i: 88.1 sec

Wet times
Evo 9: 98.4 sec
Nismo 350Z: 102.5 sec
BMW 330i: 106.5 sec

Spot the discrepancy? Can someone please explain to me how a car that has a lower average speed over the entire course can turn in a faster lap time? It simply does not compute.

According to the article, they used a special configuration of Rockingham, which is "2.7 km long". If that is correct, and if time-keeping is correct, then the Evo should have an average speed of 32.72 m/s (117.8 km/h) in the dry, the 350Z with an average speed of 31.87 m/s (114.7 km/h), and the 330i at 30.65 m/s (110.34 km/h).

Conclusion? Don't be taken in by fancy graphs.

Edit: I just read some of the other reviews and am astonished at some of the results. How fast do you think the Ferrari F430 is in the wet? 101.5 seconds. That makes it 0.3 seconds slower than a Renault Clio Trophy (180 bhp @ 6500, 200 Nm @ 5250). 333 bhp/ton loses to 167 bhp/ton. Now we know where the riceboys get their "kill" stories from.

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For the Tifosi

Came across a bunch of photos and videos of the Enzo, F430 and F360 Challenge Stradale.


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DVD reviews

OK it's been some time since the last update, so let's get cracking.

Spent the last week watching a couple of DVDs.

First up was Dust to Glory. Recommended by Mr XSVI himself, it's a film about the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. What's that? You've never heard of it? Neither have I! Heh. Apparently it's an off-road, roundtrip race that covers 1000 miles.

The film is not about the race per se, but about the atmosphere and the people behind the race. Although in the strictest sense they're all competitors, you find yourself rooting for no one in particular, and everyone, at the same time.

Oh, you do get to see all sorts of vehicles; from motocross to ATVs to pro trucks to original Beetles. Yep. Anyone who tries to cover 1000 off-road miles, in an original Beetle (the rules stipulate an unmodified engine, no less), automatically garners my respect.

But what's even more incredible is that some nut by the name of Mouse McCoy actually tries to ride all 1000 miles, offroad, solo on a bike. And is trying for the overall win. Think about this. A road trip that long, driving solo, on good roads, is already pretty hazardous. This is just beyond insane. I'm not going to spoil it for you, you just have to watch the DVD to find out if he makes it out alive.

The second DVD is the official review of Le Mans 2005 by Duke Video. This is more of a typical sports-commentary style, and it can get quite mind-numbing after a while if you're not a petrolhead. Nevertheless, it has its share of exciting moments, interspersed with interviews with team owners and drivers. Lots of onboard footage, including some video from the factory-backed Corvette and Sebastian Loeb's Pescarolo.
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