Ford Motor Company
The Bronco design team made their early prototypes out of packing material. “There was a lot of stumbling upon invention,” Wraith says. “We were able to quickly see a full-size, scale car in a matter of a week or so—in much shorter time frames. They were very fast and very cheap. You could just chop off pieces and overlay it with VR [virtual reality]; it was what we needed to show something that was much more realistic than clay models.
The link takes you to an article about 5 “design secrets”. The VR info is #3. I found all of them interesting; but, I’ve been a gearhead for decades. The VR stuff is for geeks as well as folks interested in design.
❝ Sometime in the next year or so, the U.S. auto industry will cross a once-unimaginable threshold: Average horsepower for the entire fleet will reach 300…
It is an absurd number—the stuff of drag-racing dreams. It’s also, almost entirely, a happy accident. The engineers tuning up the industry’s average sedans and dad-jeans SUVs have spent the past decade trying to lower emissions; speed was an unintended byproduct.
❝ As global regulators progressively tightened emissions standards, automakers were forced to do more with less. They built a mountain of relatively small, super-efficient four-cylinder engines to swap out hulking, thirsty V-8s. At the same time, they increasingly boosted those furious little powerplants with turbochargers and electric motors. These modern engines run like a pack of Australian shepherds—efficient, quiet and even drowsy, until something needs to be chased.
“You can get the best of both worlds,” Ivan Drury of Edmunds.com said. “If you really want it, the power is there.”
Folks talk about this as an unintended byproduct. Not in my mind. Automotive engineers understand the correlation between efficiency and power potential. With good sense in design, you can accommodate a pretty good range of economy and performance.
Yes – there’s still the risk of Big Money court battles ahead
Senior Republicans have conceded…that the grueling fight with President Obama over the regulation of Internet service appears over, with the president and an army of Internet activists victorious.
The Federal Communications Commission is expected on Thursday to approve regulating Internet service like a public utility, prohibiting companies from paying for faster lanes on the Internet. While the two Democratic commissioners are negotiating over technical details, they are widely expected to side with the Democratic chairman, Tom Wheeler, against the two Republican commissioners.
And Republicans on Capitol Hill, who once criticized the plan as “Obamacare for the Internet,” now say they are unlikely to pass a legislative response that would undo perhaps the biggest policy shift since the Internet became a reality…
The new F.C.C. rules are still likely to be tied up in a protracted court fight with the cable companies and Internet service providers that oppose it, and they could be overturned in the future by a Republican-leaning commission. But for now, Congress’s hands appear to be tied.
The F.C.C. plan would let the agency regulate Internet access as if it is a public good. It would follow the concept known as net neutrality or an open Internet, banning so-called paid prioritization — or fast lanes — for willing Internet content providers.
In addition, it would ban the intentional slowing of the Internet for companies that refuse to pay broadband providers. The plan would also give the F.C.C. the power to step in if unforeseen impediments are thrown up by the handful of giant companies that run many of the country’s broadband and wireless networks…
“We’ve been outspent, outlobbied. We were going up against the second-biggest corporate lobby in D.C., and it looks like we’ve won,” said Dave Steer, director of advocacy for the Mozilla Foundation, the nonprofit technology foundation that runs Firefox, a popular Web browser, referring to the cable companies. “A year ago today, we did not think we would be in this spot.”
The net neutrality movement pitted new media against old and may well have revolutionized notions of corporate social responsibility and activism. Top-down decisions by executives investing in or divesting themselves of resources, paying lobbyists and buying advertisements were upended by the mobilization of Internet customers and users.
Our beneficent Telecom rulers and their Republican flunkies will not stop pimping their case, of course. The lies they constructed as part of their agitprop during the campaign to influence the FCC will become a plank in the Republican campaign for the White House in 2016.
Should they win full control of the United States government – those of us who stay behind in the GOUSA to fight a rear-guard action against the building of a Brave New World of Corporatism [Mussolini felt that sounds better than fascism] will no doubt be relegated by law to dial-up, standard def and B&W TV. And flip phones.
The annual North American International Auto Show will showcase the state of the art in big pickups. The public will get its first look at General Motors Co.’s new Chevrolet Silverado, as well as Ford Motor Co.’s concept for the next Ford F-150. No wonder stocks of both companies are trading near 18-month highs. Cars will make big news, too: Toyota Motor Corp. is unveiling a model that hints at the look of its next Corolla, one of the world’s best-selling vehicles, while GM will unveil the much-anticipated seventh-generation Corvette
I’ve been a car nut all my life. That’s carried me through more experience than most in a range of vehicles – from wheels that are competitive and fun to race like Corvette and Morgan to mid-size luxury like the Cressida and Jaguar – and smartly-styled econo-wheels like the new Fiesta and every year’s latest Prius.
Can’t pass up several looks at the newest of the new. And I recommend CNET’s car geek podcasts, as well. I have them automagially downloaded along with the other IPTV shows I watch via iTunes and AppleTV.
Nokia has confirmed reports that its Xpress Browser decrypts data that flows through HTTPS connections – that includes the connections set up for banking sessions, encrypted email and more. However, it insists that there’s no need for users to panic because it would never access customers’ encrypted data.
The confirmation-slash-denial comes after security researcher Gaurang Pandya, who works for Unisys Global Services in India, detailed on his personal blog how browser traffic from his Series 40 ‘Asha’ phone was getting routed via Nokia’s servers…
However, it was Pandya’s second post on the subject that caused some alarm. Unlike the first, which looked at general traffic, the Wednesday post specifically examined Nokia’s treatment of HTTPS traffic. It found that such traffic was indeed also getting routed via Nokia’s servers. Crucially, Pandya said that Nokia had access to this data in unencrypted form:
“From the tests that were preformed, it is evident that Nokia is performing Man In The Middle Attack for sensitive HTTPS traffic originated from their phone and hence they do have access to clear text information which could include user credentials to various sites such as social networking, banking, credit card information or anything that is sensitive in nature…”
In a statement – “Nokia has implemented appropriate organizational and technical measures to prevent access to private information. Claims that we would access complete unencrypted information are inaccurate.”
To paraphrase: we decrypt your data, but trust us, we don’t peek. Which is, in a way, fair enough. After all, they need to decrypt the data in order to de-bulk it…
UPDATE: A kind soul has reminded me that, unlike Xpress Browser and Opera Mini, two other services that also do the compression thing leave HTTPS traffic unperturbed, namely Amazon with its Silk browser and Skyfire. This is arguably how things should be done, although it does of course mean that users don’t get speedier loading…on HTTPS pages.
If you live on the same planet with the United States government, the NSA and Congress – trust no one!
Two Democratic lawmakers said Congress should examine whether major wireless carriers and cable companies are stifling the growth of online video services like Netflix Inc and Hulu by limiting the amount of content Internet subscribers can download each month…
“When you couple limited broadband competition with a strong desire to protect a legacy video distribution business, you have both the means and motivation to engage in anticompetitive behavior,” David Hyman, Netflix’s general counsel, told the House Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology…The Justice Department is investigating whether cable operators are improperly suppressing competition from Internet companies and online video services…
Cable operators are also the leading Internet service providers, prompting worry that they could be trying to discourage their video product subscribers from jumping ship for cheaper, Internet-based viewing options.
Michael Powell, head of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, argued that data caps and tiered, usage-based pricing were simply about fairness, blah, blah, blah.
It ain’t like Comcast is going to starve – even after it finishes shelling out the billions they just spent on buying NBC-Universal. CableCo/TelCo ISP’s launch upgrades at higher prices all the time. Verizon just started offering 200mbps in the Bay Area for $210 a month. Locally-owned ISP’s like WebPass of San Francisco matched them without even raising their usual charge for 100mbps price – which is less than $50 a month.
That doesn’t get me a tenth of the horsepower from Comcast. And I have only one other choice – ADSL from CenturyLink which putters along barely fast enough to load the graphics from the average news site.
Justin Meyer, right, with Devin Dobias
Viruses regularly evolve new ways of making people sick, but scientists usually do not become aware of these new strategies until years or centuries after they have evolved. In a new study…however, a team of scientists at Michigan State University describes how viruses evolved a new way of infecting cells in little more than two weeks.
The report is being published in the midst of a controversy over a deadly bird flu virus that researchers manipulated to spread from mammal to mammal. Some critics have questioned whether such a change could have happened on its own. The new research suggests that new traits based on multiple mutations can indeed occur with frightening speed.
The Michigan researchers studied a virus known as lambda. It is harmless to humans, infecting only the gut bacterium Escherichia coli. Justin Meyer, a graduate student in the biology laboratory of Richard Lenski, wondered whether lambda might be able to evolve an entirely new way of getting into its host…
Mr. Meyer set up an experiment in which E. coli made almost none of the molecules that the virus grabs onto. Now few of the viruses could get into the bacteria. Any mutations that allowed a virus to use a different surface molecule to get in would make it much more successful than its fellow viruses. “It would have a feast of E. coli,” Dr. Lenski said.
The scientists found that in just 15 days, there were viruses using a new molecule — a channel in E. coli known as OmpF. Lambda viruses had never been reported to use OmpF before…
To see if this result was just a fluke, Mr. Meyer ran his experiment again, this time with 96 separate lines. The viruses in 24 of the lines evolved to use OmpF…
The new experiment provides a surprising glimpse at how easily viruses can evolve entirely new traits — and thus give rise to new diseases…
…The chances that a single virus would acquire so many mutations at once are certainly small. In the case of lambda viruses, Mr. Meyer estimates the chance of all four mutations arising at once is roughly one in a thousand trillion trillion.
Yet the lambda viruses repeatedly acquired all four mutations in a matter of weeks. “There’s this thinking that it all has to come together at once,” Dr. Lenski said. “But that’s just not how evolution works.”
Ready for a remake of The Andromeda Strain? Only this time it will be a documentary.