The future of travel as seen by Harry Dart around 1900. Past futures are great fun.
I do like the idea of one of the silliest forms of transportation you can image. The pedal blimp... A few have been made with the White Dwarf being the most famous example. A version with an electric motor and lithium batteries would be a lot of fun.
Alberto Santos-Dumont was an extremely colorful character in the early days of flight and the only mortal I can think of who used a private blimp to cruise around Paris. He was also something of a society type and is often credited for popularizing wrist watches among men. (he asked a friend - a guy named Cartier - to make a watch that would allow him to use both hands on his airplane and airship controls and still consult the time. Cartier fitted a pocket watch with a leather band and a small buckle and fastened it to Alberto's wrist).
So I'm still reasonably happy with the iPhone. Battery life and the phone nature of the beast are alright. The interface, while not perfect, is far ahead of anything I've seen from the competitors. This is the first mobile interface I've used where I do not recoil in disgust.
The keyboard becomes much easier to use after a few days of practice. People have very different results, but I'm using both thumbs and am about as fast as I am on a palm class device.
I'm not happy with the Apple/AT&T closed device/single provider policy. Edge just completely bites. The last time I wrote about this a few people replied nodding and others reported they didn't see problems. My problems continue and at multiple locations. I regularly see performance less than 10 kbits/s - we're talking 1990 dialup. As an Internet browsing device, I only consider this useful with a WiFi network.
Curiously it seems to loose net every once and awhile - even while stationary in regions of strong net. Toggling the "airplane mode" in settings brings it back to normal, but this is annoying.
Of course it needs GPS. Even a bluetooth link to a bluetooth GPS device and a connection to the map function would be fine.
But my biggest complaint is the lack of an IM client. I've used some of the browser based clients, but they just don't work that well. frustrating.
That said, this is simply the best user experience I've seen in a mobile device. Some rough edges, extremely annoying policies, missing features, and terrible 2.5G Edge performance -BUT, the only mobile phone I like.
Although many parts of the world have horrible Internet access, the US is clearly not a leader. Esme comments on the poor value of Verizon's FiOS service and notes that 10 mbps symmetrical is being phased out in Hong Kong as too slow...
Greg mentions Utterz - a new tool for blogging content you can send from a mobile device. There are some interesting social issues here (particularly the issue of audience scale), but some of you might find it fun.
I'm a bit old fashioned and am not a fan of amateur video and audio... but there are many groups where this may rule.
I'm sure this is an intellectually stimulating challenge, but doesn't it take the fun out of the sport?
(thanks for the link Larry)
The Microtransat is a transatlantic race of fully autonomous sailing boats. The race aims to stimulate the development of autonomous sailing boats through friendly competition. The Transatlantic race is currently planned for late 2008 with several smaller races taking place before then.
The VentureOne still seems to be alive - a electric (or hybrid) vehicle that may even be sexy.
I suspect most of these small companies will go away, but this is cute. (check out the video of the dutch Carver ... the mostly mature design this is based on)
Venture Vehicles plans to initially offer two propulsion packages for the VentureOne: the hybrid E50 and Q100, and all-electric Venture EV model. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) will range from $18,000 for the E50, to $23,000 for the all-electric EV model – with a wide range of accessories available for each.
All three classes will incorporate the patented Dynamic Vehicle Control system, or DVC™, developed by Carver Engineering, which allows the vehicle to tilt up to 45° side-to-side at a rate of 85° per second. All three will also feature ventilated disc brakes and measure 3.5 meters in overall length.
The vehicles’ propulsion system is of a series hybrid design. The system consists of a small internal combustion engine connected to a 15 – 20 kW generator, two in-wheel 25 kW electric motors, a four gallon fuel tank, and a 3 kWh Li-Ion battery pack. The system is able to take energy normally lost as heat due to braking and return it to the battery, increasing overall system efficiency.
All three models will exceed 100mpg, with speeds of over 100 mph, and 0-60 in 6 seconds or less – a major breakthrough in the automotive industry.