Sunday, April 23, 2017

This is one of the world's most complex intersections

Constructed in 1972, the Magic Roundabout in Swindon, England contains five small clockwise roundabouts located around a sixth counterclockwise roundabout.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dyson’s newest bladeless fan has advanced air purifiers and will work with Alexa

Dyson, maker of high-end vacuums, fans, and hair dryers, just announced the newest version of its combo purifier and bladeless fan, one that the company says has a more advanced filtration system intended to trap harmful gases.

The new Pure Hot + Cool Link Air Purifier looks similar to last year’s Pure Cool Link Purifier, but the new model has a next-generation filter with an “extra layer of activated carbon” that is coated with Tris, an antimicrobial agent. It’s not only designed to capture particular matter, like smoke, dust, and pollen, but now is also capable of trapping harmful gases like formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and naphthalene, Dyson claims.

Vjeran Pavic/The Verge

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Technically Formula 1 - China & Bahrain


Technical innovation is what makes Formula 1 so different from any other form of racing. The on track action is as much played out by the engineers and aerodynamicists as it is the drivers. We are here to admire, study, and discuss this beauty that exists on the ragged edge of what we think is possible, or at least…

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China proves its first resupply spacecraft can reach orbit

long-march-7-orbital-launch-vehicle-carrChina's space program just hit a milestone: according to Reuters, its first cargo probe has successfully proven that it can ferry supplies to orbit. Tianzhou-1 took off from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in the mainland on April 20th. In the e...
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First Flight of Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 Achieves All But One Goal

The first 737MAX-9 with Seattle in the background – Photo: Boeing

Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 took to the skies for the first time on April 13 from Boeing’s plant in Renton, Washington. I had the privilege of being able to watch it take off with fellow aviation geeks on a hill overlooking the airfield. After takeoff, my photographer and I headed to the Boeing Delivery Center at Boeing Field in Seattle, where the plane would land that afternoon.

The Boeing 737 MAX 9 flies for the first time - Photo: Jonathan Trent-Carlson | AirlineReporter

The Boeing 737 MAX 9 flies for the first time – Photo: Jonathan Trent-Carlson | AirlineReporter

As we waited for Captain Christine Walsh and First Officer Ed Wilson to complete their tasks in the air, Boeing treated us to boxed lunches. As we ate, Boeing Vice President/Chief Engineer and Deputy Program Manager for the 737 MAX program, Michael Teal, talked to us about the airplane and the 737 MAX family.

Michael Teal, Boeing VP/Chief Project Engineer and Deputy Program Manager for the 737 MAX, delivers a presentation on the 737 MAX series of airplanes – Photo: Jonathan Trent-Carlson | AirlineReporter

During the presentation, Teal explained that the first 737 MAX 8 underwent rigorous testing. This included being left outside in minus 35 degrees celsius temperatures in Siberia, and prolonged exposure to extreme heat. The MAX 9 uses the same design structure, materials, and components. Therefore, the same rigorous testing was not required.

The slideshow included specific facts about the aircraft including seating capacity (220 in a single-class configuration) and range (3,515 nautical miles). Afterwards, a question was asked about a possible replacement for the Boeing 757, which ceased production in 2004. The Boeing officials did not give a direct answer, but did state they felt the 737 MAX family would fill some of that void and that there was a currently unnamed project in the works.

After the Q&A session, we began tracking the flight’s final moments until we were ushered up to a viewing deck to watch the plane land. While we were up there, I noticed there were several 737s lined up on the ramp They were painted in their respective airline liveries just waiting for final delivery to their customers. Most were headed to the Asia Pacific region, which will become the largest aviation market in the future.

At the Boeing Delivery Center, aircraft are lined up waiting to be handed over to their respective airlines – Photo: Jonathan Trent-Carlson | AirlineReporter

We were only out there a few minutes before the plane came in to sight. The plane seemed to glide gracefully as it approached the runway for landing. Once the wheels touched the runway, it was revealed that total flight time was 2 hours, 42 minutes.

Approaching the runway for landing – Photo: Jonathan Trent-Carlson | AirlineReporter

After the plane landed, a press conference was held with the pilots. Captain Walsh said that from the moment they were airborne, the plane felt and handled like a 737 should. She also mentioned that they had successfully completed every item on their checklist, except one. At this point, Vice President/Chief Engineer Teal began looking concerned.

The plane strikes a pose following its successful maiden voyage – Photo: Jonathan Trent-Carlson | AirlineReporter

A look of relief came over his face when she mentioned that it was the “glory shot.” That is the term used for a picture of the airplane with Mt. Rainier in the background. However, due to the cloudy conditions, they were unable to get that shot.

Captain Walsh may not have gotten her glory shot on the plane’s first flight, but I definitely got a great picture with the captain at the first debut of a plane that I have been able to attend – Photo: Jonathan Trent-Carlson | AirlineReporter

During the flight, the plane reached an altitude of 23,500 feet, and its top speed was 325 miles per hour. Captain Walsh explained that if they had wanted to go higher, they would have required more speed. The flight path took them over Puget Sound following takeoff. Then they flew out to Eastern Washington before turning around. Finally they flew south towards Olympia before a final turn north to land Boeing Field in Seattle.

The 737 MAX’s range means it can make trans-Atlantic journeys. In fact, Norwegian Air Shuttle plans to use the 737 MAX 8 for such a purpose beginning this year. However, I want my first flight on the MAX 9 to be on a cross-country journey from Boston to Seattle.

The post First Flight of Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 Achieves All But One Goal appeared first on AirlineReporter.
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The incredible evolution of supercomputers' powers, from 1946 to today

Supercomputing superpower

The bigger they are, the harder they compute

In 1946, ENIAC, the first (nonsuper) computer, processed about 500 FLOPS (calculations per second). Today’s supers crunch petaFLOPS—or 1,000 trillion.
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With the Galaxy S8, Samsung grabs the smartphone design crown

mg-2207-1.jpgIn the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit my bias right up front: I have never liked Samsung's smartphones. The Galaxy and Note series have both been wildly successful -- so much so that they basically cemented Samsung's status as Apple's equal...
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Friday, April 21, 2017

Here’s Why The U.S. Air Force Scrambled An E-3 Sentry Alongside Two F-22s To Intercept The Russian Bombers Off Alaska

For two days in a row, Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bear bombers flew near Alaska’s airspace. On Apr. 17 the U.S. Air Force scrambled two F-22 Raptor stealth jets, one E-3 Sentry AEW (Airborne Early Warning) aircraft and a KC-135 tanker (according to some reports, others don’t mention the Stratotanker’s presence) to intercept two nuclear-capable […]
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Simu-Stick: How the “Manual” Transmission Could Be Saved

Simu-Stick: How the "Manual" Transmission Could Be Saved


Diminishing take rates haven’t curbed our enthusiasm for stick-shift automobiles. The fact is, our latest brainstorm could invigorate our Save the Manuals! agenda.


Carmakers no longer have the luxury of designing, engineering, manufacturing, and certifying two totally different transmissions to serve every customer whim, especially when they know their stick-shift sales will be modest. So our idea is to assign a conventional dual-clutch automatic transmission to the dark reaches of every vehicle. To provide a choice between stick and automatic shifting, the cockpit would be outfitted with what looks, feels, and acts like manual or automatic controls.


It’s a snap for the automatic half of the equation. Provide the usual console lever along with paddles near the steering wheel to offer the driver fully automatic operation when that’s preferred, with the option of going crazy with their own gear selections when traffic-free mountain passes are the venue. This is the new SOP for any car or crossover with sporting intentions.


Imitating a manual transmission demands creativity. As noted above, the box of clutches, gears, shafts, and servos living under the floor is, for all intents, identical to the automatic edition. The difference is mainly control-strategy software plus a fresh approach for the clutch-pedal and stick-shift mechanisms.


The third pedal becomes a clutch-by-wire device. When it’s activated by the driver’s left foot during launch and while shifting, an electrical message is dispatched to the dual-clutch transmission’s controller in lieu of a mechanical or hydraulic signal. That’s trivial. The challenge is contriving a means of providing driver feedback replicating a conventional clutch. This can be done with a computer-controlled servomotor, but tuning such a device is an engineering project.


Porsche 7-speed Manual and 7-speed PDK Automatic Transmissions

When they launched in the 2012 Porsche 911, the seven-speed manual PDK automatic transmissions shared a basic case design and several internal components. Our idea takes this a step further.

Now turn your attention to the shifter. This also becomes a by-wire mechanism linked electrically, not mechanically, to the transmission controller. Imagine a metal box mounted securely to the center tunnel and covered by a familiar H-pattern plate with a shift lever sprouting out the top. The cool stuff lives inside the box. Electrical contacts note which gear position has been selected, info that is sent by wire to the transmission controller. To give the shift lever a convincing feel, it moves through the H pattern exactly as if it were attached to a manual gearbox. Springs and the ball detents found inside conventional manual transmissions would be fitted and tuned to accurately mimic stick-shift sensations. The stick itself could be toggle-switch tiny or as long as the one your great-grandpa used in his ’39 Ford, depending on the manufacturer’s motives.


Our concept does have some historical precedents. Porsche’s Sportomatic transmissions, available from 1968 through 1980,  combined a four-speed manual transmission with a torque converter and a conventional clutch to provide one-hand operation with no clutch pedal or foot action required. Touching the shift lever cued a servo-controlled clutch. Several other European brands shared this approach to semi-automatic transmissions. Tiptronic, Porsche’s better idea that arrived in 1990, used thumb switches (later superseded by paddles) to manually control an otherwise conventional four-speed torque-converter automatic, with manual and automatic modes available at the console lever. The PDK dual-clutch automatic and seven-speed manual transmissions currently available in Porsche 911s share a basic case design and several internal components.

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Instead of applying for a patent covering this “technology,” we hereby bestow our Simu-Stick idea to any and all carmakers interested in pursuing its use. From our point of view, every manual saved is a manual earned, even electronic ones.

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Jetfoiler Waterboard | Autoblog Minute

Filed under: Videos,Autoblog Minute,Original Video

58fa4c6de6604d6a39bb6675_o_U_v1.jpg The Jetfoiler serves as a training tool for the endeavoring kiteboarder, while opening doors for a new population of riders at the same time. With its use of efoils to power the board and optional cruise control. This board pushes the limits of watersports like never before.

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Jetfoiler Waterboard | Autoblog Minute originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:09:19 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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