Volkswagen has released 120 video ads into the wild. These are to real advertisements as a VW Micro Bus is to a GMC New Look/Fishbowl city bus. But in typical VW style, they're ... irreverant.
Next Saturday, when 300 channels of cable aren't enough and you don't feel like driving to Blockbuster and BitTorrent seems like too much work, surf over to vw.com/passat and click on "Launch the Minisite" then "View the feature films."
"The Product Design Award is given to an individual or firm for exceptional or exemplary work in the design of consumer goods, technology, or home and office furnishings."
Rutan today is no different from the early aviation pioneers possessing the rare combination of intelligence, discipline and leadership. He doesn't just explore the corners of the envelope, he makes it bigger. Lots bigger.
Quick, how much does it cost to own and operate your car for a year? Based on trading every three years and driving 60,000 total miles, you'll be spending $18,544 annually for your Cadillac STS and $8,004 for a Honda Civic LX according to Runzheimer International. If you need room for the dogs and that all important four by eight sheet of plywood, how about a Ford F350 at $17,967 or a Ford Ranger at $10,113. Most everything else falls somewhere in between.
Don't know what happens after three years. Maybe you just drive them for free 'til the wheels fall off.
As an official Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble spends his life around cool stuff and interesting people. A day with Target Racing introduced him to some of the technology that makes race cars go fast but which fans almost never see. His video will be available on Microsoft's Channel 9 in "a couple of weeks."
"The team wouldn’t let me shoot three things: their suspension systems, their engine and gas line systems, and their algorithms."
I'll link to the video when it is posted.
Microsoft has a May 2003 promotional article discussing how their technology is used by Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Update (January 14, 2006): The videos (three!) are now available here.
A1 Grand Prix is in the middle of its second race weekend at EuroSpeedway (Germany) having successfully completed its first show at Brands Hatch just two weeks ago. Open wheel spec cars with spec engines, spec tires and spec aerodynamics. Identical except for drivers and paint.
Meanwhile, the DARPA Grand Challenge continues at Primm, Nevada. No spec cars. Almost no specs at all. Just "start here, finish there, no driver. And watch out for the tank traps." Vehicles include a Ford F-150, Nissan Xterra, a 1987 USMC HMMWV, a 1992 Isuzu Trooper, a motorcycle, a Jeep, a 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid and a number of one-offs. Some with Ferrari quality metalwork. Others that spent their money on software.
Motorsport competition certainly includes the athletic abilities, stamina, experience and reflexes of a highly skilled driver. But truly great competition starts with the design of the car and all its components and includes the team's ability to learn, adapt and improve over time. Using spec cars makes the race very manno a manno -- just like a 10,000 meter run or a tennis match or skeet shooting. But without the technology and brainpower behind the machines and the teams, much of what I find exciting about motorsports is missing.
Given a choice, I'd rather spend the weekend in Primm.