Friday, December 19, 2008

GTR high speed acceleration

Essentially the GTR is a fast car not only because it has a wide spread of torque, dual clutch transmission, great aero, AWD etc, the gear ratios are really close and biased for low-speed i.e. under 100 mph, which is where almost all driving is done. Makes perfect, logical sense since practically everyone will be driving under 100 mph anyway.

Been looking at some accel figures and the car really starts off strong but beyond 100 mph it starts to slow down quite a bit as compared to its contemporaries.

Acceleration of various cars going 60-130 mph

Second to last graph, the Stage 1 GTR takes 7.8-4.5 = 3.3 seconds to get from 100 to 120 mph. By way of comparison a Z06 tested by C&D takes 11.0-8.3 = 2.7 seconds to get there. A ZR1 takes 2.4(!) secs. From 120 to 130 mph, GTR takes 10-7.8 = 2.2 secs, Z06 takes 1.7 secs and ZR1 takes 1.9 secs. Slightly longer, most likely due to gearshift.

So taken in totality 100 to 130 mph, GTR takes 5.5 secs, Z06 requires 4.4 secs and ZR1 needs 4.3 secs. In a short sprint, choose the GTR. In an all-out pedal to the metal autobahn stormer, stick with American muscle.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Leno reviews his Corvette ZR1

This is the car I would like to own if I'm still living in the US. I really like the C6 shape.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Disgustingly quick and fast Evos

APC's Evo 2 lays down 7.97 @ 176.96 mph in Australia. Full frame and AFAIK no nitrous. Respect.

Here's their website. And old time slips in the 8.0x range.

Based on my regression analysis of 1/4 ET from 1000' times from 3 years ago, here is the outcome.

Run 1Run 2Run 3
Actual 1000 ft (s)6.7996.8256.862
Predicted ET (s)8.0780568.10788.150128
Actual ET (s)8.0778.1088.162
Residual error (s)0.001056-0.0002-0.011872

And here's the prediction for 1/8 mile vs 1/4 mile trap speeds.

Run 1Run 2Run 3
1/8 mile trap speed (mph)137.95137.45134.73
Predicted 1/4 mi trap speed (mph)176.7176782176.0575569172.4664974
Actual 1/4 trap speed (mph)176.26175.51173.14
Residual error (mph)0.4576781790.547556946-0.673502563

Here's another Evo 2, piloted by Mike Reichen going 221 mph in the standing mile. In 2005 Road and Track ran a standing mile test and their fastest car, a Hennessy Viper, did 210.2 mph.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Did Nissan supply GTR ringers to American motoring press?

One thing that always bugged me is the inconsistency between what the press publishes and what the public sees and experiences. In my own testing on our local dyno the GTR lays down about 390 whp, time and time again. Yet the American press keeps insisting that it was higher than that. I was skeptical and preferred to stick with my own experiences until I came across this article on Car and Driver.

According to the article and their supplied test sheet, their car went 11.5 @ 124 mph. This is not unexpected. The fine print is that their test facility's elevation was 4200ft!

Now the question is, how was their test car obtained? Was it through Nissan USA or purchased off a dealer lot?

Update: Thanks to MT who supplied a link to Car and Driver's position.

What I'm not happy with is that they didn't have the journalistic integrity and balls to grill Nissan on why they were supplied with what is undoubtedly a ringer. Basically the rest of the article just white-washes away this fact, spin control.

web statistic

Friday, November 28, 2008

Obstruction of justice

New Paper reports a concerned parent performing "investigations" into daughter's accident. I'm not sure if the dad knows that he's perverting the course of justice (obstruction of justice in US legal terms).

Update: Tip of the hat to Axl who found the background on this. The incendiary headline does not help matters.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Toyota Premio

Been driving a Toyota Premio[1][2] lately and I think it's pretty nice... mid-size sedan between a Corolla and a Camry. It has 1.5L, 1.8L and 2L engine configurations and the one I drove is a 1.5L (1NZ-FE), rated at 81 kW or 110 PS @ 6,000 RPM. Peak torque 140 Nm (14.3kgm) @ 4,400 RPM.

On the road price of about 62K. Leather, keyless entry and reverse camera, only problem is the touch-screen display is in Japanese and Japanese radio band. Lots of cabin space and in the trunk. I'm impressed with the fuel economy though, 16.3 km/L mixed (the onboard computer stated 15.9 km/L)... it's due to the CVT. Main complaint is the rear drum brakes. But I would still recommend this car.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Occam's Razor

So Tim sent a link that claims North Korea digitally doctored a photo to prove that their leader is in good health. It now turns out that Scientific American actually bothered to seek an expert's opinion and he is of the opinion that the photo was unlikely to have been faked.

Sometimes we think too far ahead... why would North Korea bother to do this since Kim supposedly has body-doubles anyway? It would be far easier to get a double to stand in for him in the first place.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Greed and iTunes Music Store

When iTunes Store first debuted in 28 April 2003, it took them 8 days to sell 100K songs.

The one billion song milestone was reached on 22 February 2006, or 1301 days since the store was launched.

For the period between 22 Feb 2006 and 6 Jan 2007, or about 318 days, 1 billion songs were sold. Now, between 27 Feb 2008 and 19 Jun 2008, or 113 days, another billion songs were sold, marking the 5 billion song milestone. That is exponential growth. To put that in perspective, Firefox set a Guiness World Record for most software downloads in 24 hours... 8,002,530 in 24 hours or 5,557 per second at its peak.

iTunes Store is moving 6,145 songs per second every day, and is still growing.

If the projections hold up, the 6 billion song milestone was passed sometime in late September 2008.

Yet at approximately that time period, the RIAA was asking Apple to increase the royalty fees for each song sold despite making 70 out of every 99 cents[1][2]. Apparently earning US$4,300 per second was not enough for them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Webkit aka Safari Version 3.1.2 (5525.20.1) vs Minefield aka Firefox vers 3.1b2

Update: The current Webkit nightly r37894 is even faster than Minefield when it comes to the SunSpider Javascript benchmark.

TEST                   COMPARISON            FROM                 TO             DETAILS


** TOTAL **: 2.03x as fast 1511.6ms +/- 3.7% 745.0ms +/- 0.4% significant


3d: 1.07x as fast 142.4ms +/- 2.5% 133.4ms +/- 0.8% significant
cube: 1.27x as fast 62.6ms +/- 3.6% 49.4ms +/- 3.8% significant
morph: *1.55x as slow* 33.2ms +/- 4.9% 51.6ms +/- 1.3% significant
raytrace: 1.44x as fast 46.6ms +/- 1.5% 32.4ms +/- 2.1% significant

access: 2.66x as fast 182.2ms +/- 18.6% 68.4ms +/- 2.1% significant
binary-trees: 5.17x as fast 47.6ms +/- 1.4% 9.2ms +/- 6.0% significant
fannkuch: 5.68x as fast 89.8ms +/- 38.1% 15.8ms +/- 3.5% significant
nbody: *1.15x as slow* 31.2ms +/- 1.8% 36.0ms +/- 2.4% significant
nsieve: 1.84x as fast 13.6ms +/- 5.0% 7.4ms +/- 9.2% significant

bitops: 1.36x as fast 53.2ms +/- 24.0% 39.2ms +/- 2.7% significant
3bit-bits-in-byte: *3.00x as slow* 1.6ms +/- 42.6% 4.8ms +/- 11.6% significant
bits-in-byte: - 9.8ms +/- 44.3% 7.2ms +/- 7.7%
bitwise-and: - 13.4ms +/- 53.9% 8.8ms +/- 6.3%
nsieve-bits: 1.54x as fast 28.4ms +/- 16.6% 18.4ms +/- 3.7% significant

controlflow: 8.71x as fast 36.6ms +/- 1.9% 4.2ms +/- 13.2% significant
recursive: 8.71x as fast 36.6ms +/- 1.9% 4.2ms +/- 13.2% significant

crypto: 1.50x as fast 65.0ms +/- 10.7% 43.4ms +/- 1.6% significant
aes: 2.54x as fast 34.6ms +/- 2.0% 13.6ms +/- 5.0% significant
md5: 1.53x as fast 23.0ms +/- 27.3% 15.0ms +/- 0.0% significant
sha1: *2.00x as slow* 7.4ms +/- 9.2% 14.8ms +/- 3.8% significant

date: 3.55x as fast 265.6ms +/- 0.4% 74.8ms +/- 0.7% significant
format-tofte: 4.73x as fast 148.4ms +/- 0.7% 31.4ms +/- 2.2% significant
format-xparb: 2.70x as fast 117.2ms +/- 1.4% 43.4ms +/- 1.6% significant

math: *2.02x as slow* 50.0ms +/- 5.0% 100.8ms +/- 0.6% significant
cordic: *1.45x as slow* 24.2ms +/- 9.2% 35.0ms +/- 0.0% significant
partial-sums: *2.91x as slow* 17.2ms +/- 6.0% 50.0ms +/- 0.0% significant
spectral-norm: *1.84x as slow* 8.6ms +/- 7.9% 15.8ms +/- 3.5% significant

regexp: 6.15x as fast 237.4ms +/- 0.6% 38.6ms +/- 1.8% significant
dna: 6.15x as fast 237.4ms +/- 0.6% 38.6ms +/- 1.8% significant

string: 1.98x as fast 479.2ms +/- 6.5% 242.2ms +/- 0.7% significant
base64: 1.04x as fast 20.6ms +/- 3.3% 19.8ms +/- 2.8% significant
fasta: 3.91x as fast 134.6ms +/- 22.6% 34.4ms +/- 2.0% significant
tagcloud: 1.30x as fast 112.8ms +/- 0.9% 86.6ms +/- 2.4% significant
unpack-code: 2.90x as fast 160.0ms +/- 0.5% 55.2ms +/- 1.0% significant
validate-input: 1.11x as fast 51.2ms +/- 2.7% 46.2ms +/- 4.4% significant

They weren't joking when they said Javascript performance has been improved. Safari Version 3.1.2 (5525.20.1) as a comparison.
RESULTS (means and 95% confidence intervals)
Total: 3082.4ms +/- 0.2%

3d: 375.2ms +/- 0.4%
cube: 122.2ms +/- 1.1%
morph: 129.8ms +/- 0.8%
raytrace: 123.2ms +/- 0.5%

access: 486.4ms +/- 0.6%
binary-trees: 63.8ms +/- 1.6%
fannkuch: 230.8ms +/- 1.0%
nbody: 135.4ms +/- 0.5%
nsieve: 56.4ms +/- 2.5%

bitops: 425.4ms +/- 0.7%
3bit-bits-in-byte: 62.6ms +/- 1.1%
bits-in-byte: 94.4ms +/- 1.2%
bitwise-and: 164.2ms +/- 1.6%
nsieve-bits: 104.2ms +/- 0.5%

controlflow: 82.6ms +/- 0.8%
recursive: 82.6ms +/- 0.8%

crypto: 221.6ms +/- 0.5%
aes: 73.8ms +/- 0.8%
md5: 74.0ms +/- 0.0%
sha1: 73.8ms +/- 0.8%

date: 265.8ms +/- 0.5%
format-tofte: 122.6ms +/- 0.9%
format-xparb: 143.2ms +/- 0.4%

math: 417.4ms +/- 0.6%
cordic: 161.2ms +/- 0.6%
partial-sums: 179.6ms +/- 0.9%
spectral-norm: 76.6ms +/- 1.5%

regexp: 199.6ms +/- 0.3%
dna: 199.6ms +/- 0.3%

string: 608.4ms +/- 0.5%
base64: 89.2ms +/- 1.5%
fasta: 167.4ms +/- 0.8%
tagcloud: 122.4ms +/- 0.6%
unpack-code: 123.8ms +/- 0.4%
validate-input: 105.6ms +/- 1.1%

My setup: iMac 2.4 GHz/4 GB RAM/OS X 10.5.5

Download the latest Webkit nightly builds here.

Download the latest Minefield nightly builds here.

So it seems the Webkit nightly is now about 4x faster than Safari. :D

Friday, October 24, 2008

Let the gloating begin

So Apple recently announced their quarterly results and the iPhone is an unprecedented success, firmly entrenched as a viable portable computing device. John Gruber at Daring Fireball and various other Mac-oriented websites are roasting the "analysts" and "experts" who got it so wrong.

Here are some quick thoughts:

1. The App Store. This is the real killer app. Building on Apple's vast experience in online music delivery, installing software couldn't be simpler. Until a competitor understands this and offers a much better alternative, Apple will own this market. It's only a matter of time.

2. Android will not gain mainstream market acceptance. Android is great for tinkerers or people who demand total control of the phone. But since each handset maker can implement their own interface and applications, there is no coherent vision to tie everything together. This makes it hard to market the product well, and also leads to many technical and support issues. The only way for these licensors to differentiate themselves would be based on price, and we know where that leads to.

3. Every engineer should have this Einstein quote on their minds: "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." Adding features should not introduce undue complexity, especially when proposed feature is not essential, used infrequently and/or yields insignificant value.

4. Blindly copying features without understanding the context will lead to grief. HP introduced the TouchSmart PC to great fanfare, it is not the first attempt at a touch-screen PC and still has nothing to show for it. Why? HP does not offer any compelling application that demands the use of a touchscreen. Also, it is terrible from a usability and productivity standpoint; I've got to get my hands off the keyboard and mess with the screen just to do something which can already be accomplished with a mouse and keyboard. Put another way, HP chickened out and did not have the courage to completely remove the keyboard and mouse. Not that I blame them, having your hands over a display for prolonged periods of time would be tiring. A multitouch interface on a small portable device on the other hand makes perfect sense because you are constrained by size, weight and ergonomics decisions

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

So you think you're fast?

Looks like a C6 Vette... makes me want the ZR1 even more! :(

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This week's reflections

Two unrelated incidents: the FIA's decision to penalize Lewis Hamilton and some stupid Indian reality game show host physically assaulting a contestant made me really angry. Mainly because I'm male and men are driven to solve problems. Since I'm not in any position to fix these problems it only fuels my anger.

The only positive takeaway is the realization that I strongly value justice over honor.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

NINPT alpha

Things to do:
1. Latitude and longitude decoding from 64-bit double float (IEEE 754)
2. Scrubbing and data binding
3. Port view scaling, zoom
4. XML parser
5. Search by data point (option to use regular expressions)
6. General bounds checking and exception handling
7. Axes synchronization
8. Tons more!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

0.0008 seconds

Benny Solis of North Hollywood, Calif., won his third Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup race of the season on Saturday, winning a thrilling battle with Argentina's Leandro Mercado by a mere 0.0008 seconds after 17 exciting laps.

Source: Red Bull AMA US Rookies Cup 2008

Hat tip to Le for sending the original link.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Developers: iPhone is the gateway drug to OS X

The eminent Walt Mossberg is interviewed on the iPhone 3G and really nails it.

The iPhone is not a smartphone. It is a powerful portable computer that makes phone calls.

So it does not have a builtin keyboard? There's always Bluetooh connectivity. This presents a market opportunity for an entrepreneurial 3rd party to come in and make one.

The problem with traditional handset makers is that they view their business as primarily selling hardware, and hardware design is fixed very early in the phone's product cycle. This "fixedness"; this inability to adapt, infects their very core philosophies.

Software is virtual, and can easily adapt.

What does Darwin say about adaptability and natural selection?

So how does all this figure into Apple's grand plan? iPhone developers are enticed to the platform by the sheer number of iPhone users. And the iPhone APIs are extremely similar to OS X APIs by design.

This means an iPhone developer who programs in Cocoa Touch can become an OS X developer with slightly more effort, and vice versa. So there's that recurrent adaptability theme again.

Nokia is taking steps to address this hardware-software divide by buying up Symbian but it does not have all the pieces to the puzzle. Microsoft Windows is still the dominant platform and they have no reason to give up their control to Nokia to fulfill this integrated vision. So while it is the right move it may be too little, too late.

Walt Mossberg interview 1
Walt Mossberg interview 2
Walt Mossberg interview 3

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Dress code

Read the Sunday Times today and there's this incredibly stupid article lambasting Singaporeans for "dressing down". Basically the points it raised were about "respect", and... er... trying to impress others.

Dressing down, unless the circumstances demand it, should be the way to go since it is more environmentally friendly. In Japan the government has actively encouraged everyone to forego the usual business attire of suit and tie in the summer months, to lower energy demands. Every time you fight entropy, you will lose. Physics dictates it. Refer to the Second Law of Thermodynamics if you don't believe me.

Besides, a person should not be judged solely by the way he looks, but by his actions and the way he conducts himself. Can't even begin to count the number of assholes I've met who expect special treatment just because they're in designer clothes.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Ben is going to flip at this one. Now I know what he really means by "Chinese Cultural Chauvinists".

Was browsing through Prof Terence Tao's blog on career advice when I came across this comment on his blog. Here it is, in full:

Hi!陶教授,my English is limited,I think I shoud express myself in Chinese.If you have interest in my opinio,you may ask friends to translate it.
汉字是一种象形字,不同于世界上其它国家的语言。一种语言的诞生可以说是源自于这个民族的一种文化的承传需求。你对中国的文化知之甚少,难以理解它的内涵,但我相信,像你这样的头脑,一定可以在短期内学好中文,那时,你可能会发现,中文带给你的远远要超过你现在所想像的。据说,人在学习汉语和字母语言(for instance English)时,大脑的左右半球工作状态是有些区别的,你若感兴趣不妨查一下有关资料。

The summary, in English, is that this person feels that Prof Tao would benefit greatly from learning Chinese because of its history and the (dubious?) use of both of the brain's hemispheres.

Maybe this "Kristy" character should learn English and concentrate more on her own career instead of lecturing a child prodigy/genius (Dr Tao won a Fields medal and MacArthur awards among many others) about the Chinese language.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sales Guy vs Web Dude

Saw this funny screencast of what an IT administrator really does at work all day. :)

On the main page, try to log in to the "Linux" machine and reboot. You can do this by killing init. i.e. at the prompt type "kill 1". You will then be rewarded with the segment of the video where he actually reboots the web server. :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences

Via ben:

The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with
You scored as Logical/Mathematical

You like to work with numbers and ask questions. You learn best by classifying information, engaging in abstract thinking and looking for common basic principles. People like you include mathematicians, biologists, medical technicians, geologists, engineers, physicists, researchers and other scientists.















Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yamaha vs Truck fatality captured on video

Ride and drive responsibly...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Corner weighting

My car has been corner weighted... props to Shaun for driving my car around to the various shops to get it done. So here we go:

FL: 435kg
FR: 444kg
RL: 287kg
RR: 284kg
Total: 1450kg inclusive of driver

Left side: 722kg (49.8%)
Right side: 728kg (50.2%)

Cross weight FL-RR: 49.6%
Cross weight FR-RL: 50.4%

Front-rear weight distribution: 60.6%

These measurements were taken BEFORE anything was done, so it would seem pretty perfect as it is!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Ethics again

VAGSG is experiencing a crisis as a unilateral plan for the forum to be split according to marques revealed some sore points. Besides smacking of high-handedness, it turns out that some of the moderators went on a trip to Finland that was sponsored in part by commercial entities, which was not made known to the forum's members. The main beef the members have is that VAGSG is proclaimed to be free of commercial interests. So the lack of transparency has hurt their credibility.

A similar incident happened a few years ago when SGEvoClub had a club trackday, and one of the former moderators questioned the incumbents about how the leftover funds were used. The ill-will and animosity persists to this very day, leading to apathy and distrust. What had been built up over the years was severely set back by a single event that was supposed to promote friendship and understanding.

The point is not to vilify or commend either side. But to show that these are very real problems that have been around for a long time yet most people are insufficiently equipped or experienced to face them.

My view is that all these enthusiasts sites will inevitably turn commercial. Since everything has to be justified and above-board, a person cannot be expected to do all this out of his own free time with no monetary compensation. It is just not worth the hassle. That is why being a forum moderator is considered one of the worst jobs known to humanity.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why I don't surf forums much anymore

Two posts in a day, woohoo I'm on a roll.

Anyway I don't surf forums much anymore. Mainly because the signal-to-noise ratio has gone to hell and people who don't know any better are contributing their worthless input in a topic they do not have an iota of knowledge about.

In summary, the people who make the most noise get noticed. The undisputed champion is "Big Al", who has got to be the most annoying motherfucker on the planet, bro. I'm not hatin', bro. It's just that if you need to use "bro" in every sentence, you will start to be retarded, bro. Kind of like "Big Al" and how he's always sucking on David Buschur's dick, bro. Maybe he's gay, that's why he likes to use the word "bro", bro. I'm not homophobic by the way, bro.

And talking about David Buschur... I have respect for the man's accomplishments, but not for the things he claim or say. Like claiming 600 whp on a daily driver with pump gas is sensible because there exists an example car that has got "high mileage". Dude, 9000 miles on a car is not high mileage. Thanks to you I now have customers who expect 600 whp on pump gas with high mileage, which usually means about 60,000 miles on the clock in this part of the world.

Long ass post

For the most part, working in the aftermarket tuning industry is rewarding and interesting, not because it is pays well (it doesn't). It is all about putting in one's maximum effort in everything, and when everything comes together as planned, enjoying the fruits of one's labor. Hopefully having some fun along the way.

In a way it's like being a medical practitioner; you visit a doctor when you're ill and seek his medical advice. Most of the time all goes well; you recover from your illness and the doctor goes on to treat other patients. Thus being a doctor is seen as a noble calling because the spirit of medical ethics guides their actions.

A tuner has no such luxury because there is no such thing as a Hippocratic Oath; it is widely perceived to be a shady profession to begin with.

A doctor is allowed to make bona fide mistakes due to illnesses having similar symptoms, but this standard is not applied universally. As long as word gets out that "XYZ did (or did not do, as the case may be) ABC to so-and-so's car" and it "blew up/stalls/causes babies to cry" then it's automatically assumed that the tuner is incompetent and/or negligent.

Whether it was actually a mechanical fault, driver error, a FUBAR engine build from some famous machine shop or the stars in a portentous alignment, are totally incidental to the playing of the blame game.

Whether the intent to propagate such "information" is malicious or not, is beside the point. To a tuner, his integrity is everything. He must absolutely stand by his work because it is a service, not a product that can be held or admired.

That is not to say that the customer isn't allowed to complain. The customer is definitely allowed to complain insofar as he feels that he is not receiving the attention that he deserves, and rightly so. On the other hand it is an entirely different thing altogether when the tuner tries his best yet the customer is planting seeds of FUD in the other customers, friends, even to the employer! As it is, a tuner's work is difficult (yeah I know it looks easy, but that's just because I make it so haha ;) without having to deal with this kind of bullshit.

Anyone who plants FUD, whether intentional or not, cannot be in my circle of trust.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Urinal etiquette

According to Ananova a man has been sentenced to community service after punching another man twice for breaching urinal etiquette. I believe the female judge was mistaken. There is an universal unspoken law among men not to breach urinal etiquette at the risk of bodily harm. It can be described as (courtesy of a poster on digg):

RULE 1: When presented with a row of empty urinals, choose one on either end.

RULE 2: When arriving at a row of urinals with one or more occupants, choose the empty urinal which is furthest from an occupied urinal.

RULE 3: Always make sure to have at least one space between occupants.

RULE 4: When unable to comply with Rule 3, check to see if a stall is available.

RULE 5: If there is no stall available and you must stand next to one or more other occupants, keep eyes forward (or on your own activity) at all times. It is also appropriate to stare up into empty space. In no event should you look toward the other occupants, unless they're suffering from an obvious medical issue that requires immediate attention (such as a heart attack/stroke) or they're on fire. If they are on fire or suffering a medical condition, never make eye contact with their package. Note that it's okay to pee on the distressed occupant in case of fire, but only in the area of the flames. While peeing on the inflamed occupant, be sure to announce that you're doing this for their own good.

RULE 6: Peeing in the sink is NOT acceptable.

For those with a pea for a brain, here is the Flash game that explains everything.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Moral dilemma

A few days ago, Sam went to a bank to exchange small bills to larger ones. The bank made an error and he received two $1000 bills for $1,100, leading to a windfall of $900. Later in the day the bank realized its mistake and tried to recover the money.

Would you return the money? Would it be legal to keep the money? If the error was $900,000, would you still return it?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Google Trends

Google Trends takes a sample of search terms that are used on Google and some interesting data can be gleaned. Normalizing for population, the following search terms are paired with those where it was most searched i.e. term vs country

1. "macbook air" - Singapore (by far)
2. "edison chen" - Singapore followed by Malaysia then Hong Kong
3. "sex" - India (by a large margin)
4. "drugs" - Philippines
5. "rock n roll" - New Zealand with Australia close
6. "penis enlargement" - South Africa (no comment)
7. "God" - Philippines
8. "richest" - Nigeria (incredibly large margin)
9. "satan" - Turkey
10. "recession" - Singapore
11. Nissan GTR - Australia with New Zealand a close second

Singapore leads in terms like "wealth", "fortune", "dynasty", "Louis Vuitton" and is usually in the top 5 with related terms like "finance", "economy", "stock market", "money laundering" etc.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Regression analysis of 1/8 mile vs 1/4 mile trap speed

Using data collected at, a regression analysis of 1/8 mile vs 1/4 mile trap speed was performed. Chosen vehicles were Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru Impreza WRX and STIs as they are AWD, have forced-induction, are about the same size and weight and present similar frontal areas.

Based on 100 observations, significance F is 2.3*10-114. P-value was less than 0.05 thus we are forced to reject the null hypothesis.

y = 1.32024246643736 * x - 5.40977006570778; where y is predicted 1/4 mile trap speed and x is observed 1/8 mile trap speed.

Detailed graphs found here.

Building upon the LRT formulas as put forth by Jeff Lucius, we can estimate horsepower given the equation:

hp = (mph / 215.39)3.3135 x weight (lbs)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Torque values

Why is it so difficult to get high torque values out of a 4 cylinder engine? Can't we keep increasing the boost assuming that fuel quality is not a problem?

A piston's acceleration does not follow a sinusoidal waveform. Plotting instantaneous torque with mean torque vs crank angle rotation, a 4 stroke, 4 cylinder engine would typically experience almost 4 times more than mean torque values at peak and almost 2 times below of mean torque through each cycle of rotation. On a dyno this is averaged out. On the other hand an even-fire V8 or V12 would go through lower extremes through its own cycle.

This is why I believe it will not be easy to get "torque monsters" out of 4 stroke, 4 cylinder engines as compared to V8s and V12s with similar swept displacements. It ultimately comes down to engine design and materials.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Apple price gouging

Using current spot exchange rates of SGD 1.43 to USD 1, the MacBook Air 1.6 GHz at USD 1799 should be priced at SGD 2573. Yet it is going for SGD 2988 here, a USD 290 premium. That's 16% of the retail price! If that's not ridiculous enough, the 1.8 GHz model is USD 3098, but in Singapore it goes for SGD 5088 or USD 3558, a mind-blowing USD 460 difference!

Moral of the story: buy your Apple products elsewhere.