Wednesday, 19 July 2017

iTunes cards on sale (Australia) – update

Credit: Apple

Woolworths has 15% off $30, $50 & $100 iTunes cards until 25 July.

Officeworks has the same deal – as usual, no end date available, but plan on the same date as Woolworths.

More gift card bargains at Gift Cards On Sale:
/ iTunes app store application iPhone iPod iPad mini cards card iOS Apple credit account sale save cheap bargain save saving savings discount reduction percent Gift Cards On Sale /

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Will established auto manufacturers' complacency deliver a monopoly to Tesla?

Tesla's first Model 3 rolled off the production line just days ago.
Credit: Tesla/Warranty Direct/Twitter

“Yes,” says Alexander Haissl of Germany's Berenberg Bank.

My take: established manufacturers will be happy to continue to make a minimal effort while Tesla works out how to make it happen. E.g. General Motors developed a T-shaped battery for the EV1 & Volt. Tesla showed them that flat, under the floor was the way to go, & they adopted that for the Bolt (along with other manufacturers).

When all of the problems are solved & what the market wants becomes clearer, established manufactures expect to be able to scale development &/or token production to take back the market. Nissan is an exception.1

Strength of this strategy is largely obvious – leverage Tesla's huge R&D effort & the the fact that Elon Musk is smarter than any of the competition’s engineers or management. (“He is by far the single smartest person that I have ever worked with … period.”)2

Perhaps their best hope is that Tesla will continue to share its technology.3,4

1 Nissan has been an exception – CEO Ghosn has been committed to EVs & developing them in-house since at least 2008:

GM-Volt (2008): ‘Nissan CEO Ghosn: “I Don’t Want a Range Extender”’,

2 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “How Elon Musk taught himself rocket science”,

3 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Why Tesla gave up on patents”,

4 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Will Tesla share its technology with other automakers?”,

/ Tesla win big race to sell electric cars to the world German analyst competition from traditional manufacturers complacent Elon Musk California upstart near monopoly of the market Tesla out investing the competition hampers itself save money building on legacy engineering developing new focused technology report analyst Alexander Haissl Hamburg Germany-based Berenberg Bank readiness Tesla’s competition Daimler’s Mercedes best prepared Volkswagen BMW dithering GM General Motors Chevrolet Bolt Ford FCA strong ratings manufacturer complacency electric vehicle EV electric car technology developing EVs mass-market adoption lack of real action strategic commitments underlying convictionno clear pathway to high-volume EV production Haissl Tesla near-monopolistic opportunity gain market share outcompete incumbent automotive industry /

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

iTunes cards on sale (Australia)

Credit: Apple

Looks like you missed out on the Coles sale, but check:

Coles has 15% off $30, $50 & $100 iTunes cards until 18 July.

Officeworks has the same deal – as usual, no end date available, but plan on the same date as Coles.

More gift card bargains at Gift Cards On Sale:
/ iTunes app store application iPhone iPod iPad mini cards card iOS Apple credit account sale save cheap bargain save saving savings discount reduction percent Gift Cards On Sale /

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Your digestive tract has as many brain cells as a cat

Smart as a cat
Credit: Instituto Medico Laser

“There are over 100 million brain cells in your gut – as many as there are in the head of a cat.”

BBC News – ‘The second brain in our stomachs’

Scientific American – ‘Think Twice: How the Gut's “Second Brain” Influences Mood & Well-Being’

Scientific American – ‘Gut Feelings–the “Second Brain” in Our Gastrointestinal Systems’
/ stomach dark mystery most of us new research revealing surprising ways our guts exert control over our mood and appetite stomach digestion in action London's Science Museum watched live pictures from my own stomach porridge eaten for breakfast churned broken up exposed to acid pushed out small intestine creamy mush called chyme swallowed miniature camera pill travelling through my digestive system projecting images onto a giant screen stomach complex work control the little brain network of neurons line stomach and your gut 100 million cells in your gut many as there are in the head of a cat little brain complex thinking essential daily grind digesting food mixing contracting absorbing break down food begin extracting nutrients vitamins we need neurons neuron lining our digestive system keep in close contact brain in your skull vagus nerves influence our emotional state experience butterflies in the stomach brain in the stomach talking to the brain in your head get nervous or fearful blood diverted from our gut to our muscles stomach's way of protesting hunger hormones accommodate big meal stomach has to expand size of a fist around 2 litres 40-fold increase stretch receptors stomach told the brain stomach was full time to stop eating hunger signals produced by your stomach far more sophisticated doctors treat grown to 20 stone heart attack lose weight gastric bypass operation reducing size of the stomach smaller the stomach the less you eat surgeon Mr Ahmed Ahmed London's Charing Cross Hospital surgery you're producing changes in various hormones chemical messengers affect hunger levels fullness levels cause the weight loss gastric bypass surgery isolated part stomach produces most ghrelin hormone play a key role in making you feel hungry permanent fall in production of ghrelin new shrunken stomach attached further down his small intestine ileum secretes a different gut hormone PYY responsible for making you feel full normally takes 20 minutes for food to get from the stomach to the ileum causing release of PYY message to the brain I'm full better to eat slowly give stomach chance tell the brain you have had enough before you overeat ileum stomach brain already lost three stone eat a small amount of food and I feel full lose more weight gastric bypass available extreme cases intense interest developing drugs mimic actions PYY brain rules our decision-making process operations our guts very profound effect how we behave big meal third of your blood supply diverted to your guts digest guts human stomach /

Thursday, 15 June 2017

KaWoof – let your dog throw its own damn ball!

Looks like a bunch of fun to share with your dog – which begs the question, why not just throw the ball & leave out the device? Perhaps KaWoof would be useful if the dog owner has a shoulder injury, or some other disability, that makes throwing impractical. Or is the purpose of KaWoof to let the dog play fetch without a human present?

It would be interesting to see how long (or even if) a dog (or dogs) would continue to use KaWoof with no human present.

KaWoof is a Kickstarter project – funding ends in 27 days.

Kickstarter – “KaWoof - Natural ball launcher for your dog”
/ KaWoof ecological ecologically produced ball launcher dogs runs completely without electricity dog toys made out of plastic non natural toxic materials dog toys we wanted to make a difference making dog toys training gadgets invented natural ball launcher KaWoof KaWoof regrowing material wood designed work big and small dogs four strength settings adjust to your dog’s needs dog should at least weigh weight 5kg use KaWoof developed throwing arm use different ball sizes no expensive balls needed golfball sized ball tennis ball all sizes work KaWoof developing analyzing KaWoof 3D software optimize our product Kai Hillebrand inventor developer KaWoof ball catapult built Christmas present his mother Christa Hillebrand dogs his mother had so much fun first prototype further developed KaWoof Christa Hillebrand dog trainer hairy four-legged friends many years of experience dogs KaWoof prototype mature in design and function organization materials optimization production process next challenge small family business design KaWoof designed partial automation CNC milling machine produce required quantities high quality support project /

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Australia’s National Broadband Network – a cautionary tale

Credit: Northrop

The government-led push to modernize its telecommunications system was unprecedented, experts say – & provides a cautionary tale for others who might like to try something similar.

“Australia was the first country where a totally national plan to cover every house or business was considered,” said Rod Tucker, a University of Melbourne professor & a member of the expert panel that advised on the effort. “The fact it was a government plan didn’t necessarily make it doomed. In Australia, we have changes of governments every three years, which really works against the ability to undertake long-term planning, & the long-term rollouts of networks like this.”

The New York Times – “How Australia Bungled Its $36 Billion High-Speed Internet Rollout”
/ modernize modernise how Australia bungled Its $36 billion high-speed internet rollout Brisbane Australia internet speeds trail developed world Morgan Jaffit more reliable data transfer postal system downloaded Hand of Fate action video game studio Brisbane Defiant Development audio designer Melbourne quicker send hard drive by road than to upload the files big file sizes kill us release update small bug kill us by three or four days Australia wealthy nation widely envied quality of life lags in one essential area of modern life internet speed country began unprecedented broadband modernization effort cost at least 49 billion Australian dollars $36 billion average internet speed lags United States Western Europe Japan South Korea most recent ranking internet speeds Akamai networking company Australia embarrassing No. 51 trailing developing economies Thailand Kenya slow broadband connection frustration Instagram video buffer buffering delay problem sluggish Netflix stream slurred Skype call businesses complain slow speeds hobble effectiveness add to costs Australia risks being left behind countries China India start-up cultures match succss Silicon Valley keep their economies on the cutting edge start up startup poor broadband speeds hold back Australia competitive advantage John O’Mahony economist Deloitte Access Economics 2015 report Deloitte valued nation’s digital economy $58 billion worth 50 percent more by 2020 speed growth at risk broadband to support it Australia’s costly internet bungle hazards mingling telecommunication infrastructure impatience modern politics Internet modernization plan hobbled by cost overruns partisan maneuvering major technical compromise 19th-century technology country’s 21st-century digital backbone homes and businesses government-led push modernize telecommunications system unprecedented experts cautionary tale Australia first country totally national plan cover every house or business Rod Tucker University of Melbourne professor government plan doomed Australia changes of governments every three years works against ability undertake long-term planning long-term rollout networks Australia natural connectivity challenges oceans away from other countries network connect far-flung cities separated sparsely populated interior Australia high hopes ambitious internet project started 2009 initiative National Broadband Network NBN advanced fiber-optic technology every home business estimated cost 43 billion Australian dollars government private sector failed policy Australia broadband backwater Kevin Rudd then prime minister leader Labor Party government share costs quickly climbed taxpayers responsible for all of it technology slow roll out negotiations Telstra Australia big telecommunications provider installing fiber Telstra spokesman talks delays government-funded effort government funded drew fire Liberal Party opposition the private sector Liberal-led coalition elected 2013 contain costs speed up rollout focused telecommunications industry the last mile wires connect home business broader network National Broadband Network envisioned high-speed fiber connecting homes businesses directly network Liberal conservative compromised connecting existing copper wire same technology earliest days of the telephone critics slow speeds did not stop rising costs Australia had aggressive, forward-looking visionary government project build fiber network Mike Quigley chief executive project until 2013 opportunity lost bad judgments ideologically politically driven spokeswoman Liberal Party connecting new users Labor Party party fixing the internet campaign platforms national elections how difficult the problem will be to solve average speeds have more than doubled since 2013 Akamai other countries are connecting their populations faster Australia’s lag with the rest of the world has grown big businesses can opt to pay for fast connections, but the cost can be considerable GO1 education technology company near Brisbane spent $22,000 speed upgrade September 2015 pays $1,000 per month high-speed 100 megabit connection software company two main costs internet and staff Andrew Barnes chief executive co-founder lower more to spend on building the team employees Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam far fewer issues joining the company’s weekly webinars Vietnam telephone wires are just a mess despite obvious infrastructure problems Internet much much better video game industry pushed for better speeds dirt roads Ben Britten chief technology officer Mighty Games Group Senate hearing his industry’s future trying to push huge semi trucks down dirt roads need to have some highways look for ways around the barriers old-fashioned radio Nick Lorenzi Cairns northeastern Queensland frustrated with copper wire speeds just a few miles away much faster fiber connection information technology worker bandwidth from two transmitter dishes that cost $440 total Internet was rubbish up really high on a hill take advantage of that copper based connection speed just rubbish Internet just pathetic, really /

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Fastest road legal car around the Nürburgring is electric

EP9 from NIO
Credit: Twitter

With just 7 built to-date, & 10 more planned, NIO’s EP9 is not a good fit for the description, “production car”, which some are prepared to give it. But it is road legal. From the look of it, make that, “barely road legal racer”.

One of the more interesting things about the EP9 is that, driven at competition speeds on the Nürburgring, a Tesla Model S drops into reduced power mode due to increasing battery temperature.1 A time of 6:45.90,2 suggests that the EP9 has the battery heating problem under control. Equally, a build price of $1.2 million3 (notice that’s, “build price”, not, “retail price”), suggests, “cost is no object”, is part of NIO’s solution.

Electrek – “NIO’s EP9 EV beats every production car ever with a Nürburgring lap record of 6:45.90”,

EP9 is also the fastest autonomous car at the Circuit of the Americas

Jalopnik – “The 'World's Fastest Electric Car' Just Set Two Incredible Lap Records”

1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Tesla Model S racing series”,

2 To put 6:45.90 in perspective, a Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 SV just scrapes under 7 minutes

Road & Track: “Ten of the Fastest Production Cars to Ever Lap the Nürburgring”,

Auto Express: “Fastest Nurburgring lap times 2017: quickest cars & lap records”,

3 Road|Show: “Electricity has never been more exciting”,

/ Tesla Model S racing series Electric GT World Series grid modified Model S zero-emissions GT road car based racing championships begin 2017 car grid Tesla Model S P85+ new championship Electric GT World Series seven-race season 2017 races Europe America Asia organisers tracks used Barcelona Spain Donington UK Mugello Italy Estoril Portugal 10 teams team two modified Tesla Model S P85+ road cars power unit control software unchanged standard road car 416hp horsepower 601Nm torque changes aerodynamics suspension brakes more suitable for racing car's weight reduced tearing out unneeded upholstery battery's cooling system improved drivers foot on the throttle longer Agustin Paya professional racing driver promoter Electric GT World Series P85+ rear-wheel-drive newer P90D all-wheel-drive chosen more suitable for racing easier to fix in a pinch drivers prefer RWD track future Formula E plan Electric GT World Series allow range different cars grid Tesla Model S one of the best cars ever made best 100 percent electric cars luxurious super tourer made for racing weight distribution low centre of gravity considerable mass more than two tons allows unbelievable cornering speed unending torque add up great racing car testing Barcelona Catalunya F1 Circuit Madrid Jarama circuit Model S GT champion Electric GT pull in the punters Formula E engine noise Model S much larger battery Formula E cars car-switching battery back swapping races last more than 100 or 150 miles Tesla racing exciting techies Teslaphiles tune in favourite car electric race car racing car lithium ion LiIon battery charge recharge range Electric vehicle EV decimating records internal combustion engine vehicles ICE vehicle NIO NextEV $1.48 million electric supercar NIO EP9 set a new lap record one of the world’s most famous and grueling racetracks Nurburgring Nordschleife electric car time of 6:45.90 fastest lap ever set by an electric vehicle around the track faster than any production vehicle electric beating Lamborghini Huracan Performante over 6 seconds fastest lap ever done by any production vehicle EP9 production vehicle NIO built seven EP9 plans another production run of ten more cars small number of units smaller production runs high prices McLaren F1 XP5 prototype production vehicles EP9 Nordschleife famously difficult track benchmark overall vehicle performance length and grueling nature track over 12 miles long German countryside includes high and low speed turns varied road surfaces lots of bumps and hills NIO EP9 lap of 7:05.12 suboptimal conditions cold and slightly moist track surface electric vehicle record beating handful street-legal gasoline-powered vehicles Huracan Aventador Porsche 918 big deal EV company with no racing heritage not even any automaking heritage beat cars from companies century of racing experience toughest track in the world incredibly impressive new lap NIO video video EV-record-setting lap /