Interesting Snipits 20110414

We like ExteremTech Magazine, a part of the PC Mag empire. Here are a few articles we found interesting enough to bring to your attention.

Electric Cars —

“Everybody knows electric cars are going to be the next big thing. But sales have lagged because as it stands, they’re kinda sorta completely impractical. This is largely due to limited range and a lack of infrastructure. … To be precise, the group’s four-wheel drive SIM-LEI can ring out one charge for 206 miles in an urban driving situation, and 190 miles while cruising at 62 mph.”,2845,2383437,00.asp

Psi. A little perspective might help here. Henry Ford once said that if you build a product that people know they need, and sell it for a price that they can afford to pay, they will buy it. I am all for sensible alternative transportation, including high speed trams and electric cars. But as a real solution, not as a political gimmick.

The reason electric cars are not selling significantly is not that their range is low. The gigantic problem is the insane, abusive, selling price. By comparison to these $50,000 – $100,000 make-me-rich-quick-by-playing-the-green-excuse-game electric fantasies a realistic vehicle such as the compressed air powered Tata (India) retails for $4,000. And it runs all day on a charge of compressed air. Tata motors is not selling this car in America (it is sold in India, Africa, and other 3rd world areas) so a similar car could be made here: it is based upon mature, reliable, simple, mass producible, extremely affordable technology.

A socially responsible person would direct their company to produce sellable product at a price people can afford and that eliminates dependence on terrorist oil, rather than increasing the price of gasoline motor fuel to make the abusive cost for a sub-optimal vehicle seem the lesser of two evils. A socially responsible person would not depend upon “after market” price manipulation to raise the selling price of gas from its actual cost of 14 cents/gallon to unconscionable levels that have destroyed the global economy, give treasonous levels of profit to a very few ultra-rich manipulators, and fund terrorists so they can murder more innocent women and children.

If the goal was really to eliminate our dependency on foreign oil and save the environment then we would already be using existing and cheap technology that we already have and can mass produce. Compressing air and releasing it again is about as non-polluting as we can get. Manufacturing huge amounts of electronic components with poisonous byproducts and energy intense processes is not the best way to reduce our carbon footprint.

The Hidden Multitouch Gestures of iOS 4.3 —

According to an article in at,2845,2383371,00.asp, Apple “designed some cool multitouch gestures into iOS 4.3 utilizing four and five finger controls, but didn’t think they were quite ready for primetime, so they remained hidden away in iJail. These contraband gestures would allow users to finger-fiddle their way through three functions:

  • Close four or five fingers together to return to the home screen.
  • Scroll up or down with four or five fingers to view the multitasking tray.
  • Scroll left or right with four or five fingers to switch between apps.

”  And the article explains how to activate these multi-finger moves.

GMail Motion (April Fools day prank) Actually Implemented at USC

“This year, Google treated Gmail users to an exciting new Beta function: Gmail Motion. The feature allows users to interact with their Gmail accounts via gestures captured by their computer’s camera. … there are a lot of people working on making gesture recognition a reality. This movement kicked into high gear over the past year with the introduction of the motion-based Xbox Kinect. Kinect has inspired University research groups and lone wolf hackers around the world to see how far they could push this future-y new tech, often with some very cool results.” There is more in the article at,2845,2383297,00.asp.

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