NEW BLOG ON THE BLOCK

18 02 2010

Wiz and Chips now has its own domain and a brand new geeky-steampunk-horrorific style!

Check it out at:

http://www.wizandchips.com/





BYD e6: Chinese Electric Car Hits Detroit Auto Show

15 01 2009

We’re knee deep inside a muddy recession and this is not new thing. One among the protagonist of this world wide “event”, the car industry is facing critics for harassing the governments to save their day. In the U.S. this is mostly true because the (in)famous bail out to GM. In the EU instead, the European Commission made it clear that aids to European car companies could be designed only in the scope of projects (cars) exploiting new clean non-oil-dependant energy.

e001lThey also say that this year’s Detroit Auto show isn’t that brilliant and several important auto brands are missing (Ferrari, Fiat, Renault, Peugeut, Opel, etc..). They also say that this year’s price are cheaper and so is a stronger presence of far east companies.

One Chinese company in particular caught attention because of the car they presented and the claims they issued. BYD (which stands for Build Your Dream) it’s a Chinese company which, despite most of us has never heard of it, lists the gigantic score of 7 production sites in China, 10 million square miles of show rooms and offices worldwide and 130 thousands employees.

BYD presented their revolutionary e6 electric car which they claim can run up to 250 miles per charge. This puts e6 a the top of electric cars performance board (should ever exist one :)) leaving behind Ford’s long range electric car -scheduled for 2011- of a full 150 miles. The e6 battery pack -which surprisingly is a some sort of old fashioned Fe type- is declared to be capable to be charged up of 50% in ten minutes (by a fast-charge station) allowing a 120 miles travel.

Battery are surely the core aspect of electric car which, thought as the major pro by some -because of the green side- can also be a big drawback or, more metaphorically said, smoke and mirrors. Sceptics argue that the energy used to produce the battery, plus the energy regularly used to charge up the battery plus the one that will be eventually used to dispose of the battery and its elements made the system energy inefficient and not worth of the big green badge lots of people and the media give to electric cars. Not being particularly in love with electric devices, I could argue that having around so many oil fuel powered cars is in its way energy inefficient as it pollutes directly urban areas and basically make people sick (so maybe medical reckonings should be included in the evaluation balance).

i001bAnyway, staying on track, this e6 it’s still a concept car, thus not a guarantee of a scheduled production. Maybe it’s just evanescent as many other concept cars, maybe it’s a big scream to draw attention on another aggressive Chinese competitor, but in any case it’s another proof of how alternative energy vehicles (methane, and liquefied petroleum gas first in the row) are taking more and more market share. Not speaking of electrics, I forecast that in ten years the balance we see today between oil-fuel cars and gas cars will be reversed.

What is your opinion on this subject?

If you’re interested in checking BYD e6 website you can find it here.

Pictures are from BYD gallery pack





Happy Halloween!

31 10 2008

I wish all the witches and wizards and vampires and zombies out there a happy Halloween!

And so does Robert, my 18 months old son.





Sightseeing Italy’s major cities with Google Street View

30 10 2008

On October 29th Google Maps Street View hit three Italian major cities plus the area around Como lake in the northern part of the country.

You can now go and have a stroll down Milan, Rome or Florence streets or the romantic coastline of the Como lake.

Google Maps Street View (together with the other geo apps like Google Earth) is the sightseeing killer application as it gives you the chance to visit places you’ve always dreamt to go but, for a reason or another, never managed to fulfill. As GMSV expand in coverage and quality the world gets shrinking and shrinking. These geographic apps make me think of the rift information technologies creates between what once were (and by most educators still are) the regular education tools and the resources that are available nowadays, easily and free. Just think of Google Earth, we X-Generation guys and girls used to see something like this (much more rudimentary though) in 80′ movies or comics. These systems were usually pictures ad high level military resources. Nowadays we used satellite maps to spot our pic-nic place!

Have I already said that I totally confide in technology (and especially in free open source software and open source hardware) for a better world?





Lord British goes zero G!

16 10 2008

Who’s never played one of the several Ultima installments?

Speaking of me, I have wonderful memories of those isometric beauties with those huge world, vast quests and funny cheats. Have you ever met Lord British in Ultima Online? Well, me no, but I know that someone’s even managed to kill him.. ah ah ah

Lord British, ehm, Richard Garriot is one of those figures I am attached to, mainly because they remind me to those days of my youth when role playing games and video games were all my life.

I am happy to hear that he managed, even after a pouring of something of 30M$, to fly to the International Space Station for a fortnight trip out of our world.

Garriot left earth on October 12th 2008, which it happens to be also my 32nd birthday ;), aboard a Soyuz spacecraft and will stay on the ISS until October 23rd.
Lord British is a strong space enthusiast and believer which is strongly committed to the space for human being (or maybe the richest ones..) stuff by investing into private space travel as he’s also vice president of Space Adventures.





Zombie cookware and fashion

15 10 2008

Halloween’s coming folks!

With a bit of make up and these stuffs I spotted on ThinkGeek.

First this glamorous and politically involved t-shirt! Just to let the others know what’s the point in you being pissed off…

Then this essential equipment for the perfect undead party!

Have fun mates! Ahargh..!





Mail Goggles: prevent you from sending e-mails you will regret

10 10 2008

Suppose you are drunk.

Suppose you’re emotional state is a bit broken.

Suppose you go back home and before collapsing onto the floor you manage, by appealing to your last glimpse of will power, to send an e-mail like this:

“honey, I know I left you but I feel alone without you now, please please let’s get back together”

or

“my dear boss, I feel like being completely honest to you. You deserve it. You f…ing d..k head!”

then you pass out

the next morning you wake up and the life you used to live doesn’t exist anymore.

Well, a new feature of Gmail can help you preventing this to ever happen.

On October 6th 2008, Jon Perlow, Gmail engineer, posted an article on the Official Gmail Blog describing Mail Goggles, a new Labs feature designed to check that you’re really sure you want to send an e-mail.

By default Mail Goggles is active during weekend late nights but you can adjust it to whatever timeline you think you need. The working principle is quite simple: you write your message and when you hit send Mail Goggles ask you to solve some trivial mathematics which hopefully you won’t be able to solve if you boozed.

If they’d only invented it before…;)