Category Archives: thoughts

Google Glass needs a Personal Video Loop

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Google Glass at the moment and so far I havent seen anything to make me want to rush out and buy a pair (although I reserve judgement till I actually play with one). One of the things getting a lot of attention is the ability to record hands-free video which in my opinion is over-rated. I’m basing this on in-car video recorders (and more recently dashcams) that people have been using to record hands free video while driving for years. I have been using a variety of different setups to capture in-car video over the years and have found that while its very cool at first, it’s quite rare to go back to look at the video.… Read the rest

Circuit of the Americas Facility Review

Michael locks a wheel at T12
I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Formula 1 US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas last week and want to write up my thoughts after the event. This is not a review of the race itself but rather a review of the venue from a fans point of view and how it compares to other race events I have been to such as IndyCar (Infineon), NASCAR (Infineon) and the 2002 F1 USGP at Indianapolis.

Getting to and from the track
Having read nightmare predictions about parking at the race I decided to use the free park and ride shuttle from the Travis Expo center instead of shelling out $200 for a parking pass.… Read the rest

Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma

I recently attended the 2011 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway and was immediately struck by how different the experience was to the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis that I attended in 2002. This post is a quick recap of what I saw at Sonoma and why F1 needs to change and become more fan accessible.

I am a massive F1 fan and have missed watching only a handful of races since I started watching it in 1995. When I moved to the US in 2002 and got funding for my Masters degree the very first thing I did was start planning a trip to the 2002 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis.… Read the rest

Circus before Dawn

I recently ran into David Miller, a longtime GGLC member and the newly published author of Circus before Dawn, a novel set in a fictional version of the 1999 Formula 1 season about an start-up F1 team based in the Bay Area. As soon as he told me the basic premise of the novel I knew I had to read it and now here is dust jacket description followed by my own review.

Shortly before the dawn of the new millennium, a video arrives at the postbox of internationally acclaimed motorsport journalist, Trevor Banks. The startling images depict the elite driving talents of an intriguing racecar driver.

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Thoughts on “Senna”

Autographed by Asif Kapadia and Chris Dinnage

I recently had the chance to see a special pre-release screening of the Senna movie and since people have constantly been asking me for my opinion of it I figured its time to put my thoughts down on paper. Since the movie was shot entirely using archival footage it is being classified as a documentary though since there are no talking heads and only period accurate is used it can also be called a movie and depending on your point of view it has very different reviews

As a Movie
As a movie it is absolutely brilliant especially if you have limited knowledge of Ayrton.… Read the rest

Emergency Preparedness Pack

One of the big things that the Japan Earthquake brought home to me was my absolute unpreparedness for any sort of disaster or emergency evacuation situation. I spent a bunch of time online looking for pre-made emergency “bug-out” kits and while there are several decent ones out there I felt that they were all missing various things and decided in the end to make my own. I figure I will share the contents of my kit for other folks who might be interested in making one of if they have comments on things I should or shouldn’t have. Many items will have two links because I have explicitly bought two different brands in order to increase redundancy and reduce the impact of a bad product batch.… Read the rest

Amazing audio quality of the Nokia N900

The fact that I have been using various Nokia phones and attending multiple Iron Maiden concerts (5 at last count) over the years led me to this amazing demonstration of the improving audio quality of Nokia cameraphones. While I have been a big fan of the N95 camera but I always complained about the audio quality when recording video in loud environments. This video that I recorded at the Iron Maiden show in Concord in 2008 shows how the N95 struggled with clipping and noise issues when the environment was too loud.

Now fast forward 2 years and I went to another Iron Maiden show in Concord a few weeks ago with an N900 and recorded the following video clip.… Read the rest

Setting up a Seven – The Ultralite Experience

My new WCM Ultralite S2K

As many of you know I purchased a Lotus Seven replica called the WCM Ultralite S2K late last year to make it a street legal track toy. While the Ultralite may maintain the spirit of the original Seven, as you can see below, it has a distinctly different shape and has generally larger dimensions to accommodate drivers of all sizes. In order to move this extra bulk (relatively speaking) around it comes with the incredible F20C engine out of the Honda S2000. The end product has some astonishing performance figures:

Weight: 1300 lbs
Horsepower: 240 bhp
Redline: 9000 rpm
Power to weight ratio: 400+ hp/ton
0-60 mph: 3.5 seconds

With the (more) original predecessor

My particular car was the first prototype built by World Class Motorsports and is the actual car used in most of the magazine tests.… Read the rest

Recreating your track day laps in GT5

Polyphony Digital has announced a new feature in Gran Turismo 5 which will allow you to upload data from an automotive data logger and recreate your laps within GT5. The technology currently requires the use of the CANBUS data along with a Denso GPS controller and will initially be built into the Toyota FT-86G. As the owner of a Race Technology DL1, I can only hope that one day we might be able to use this technology with existing track day dataloggers.

In the meantime check out this video of a Lexus IS-F lapping the Fuji circuit with its virtual recreation side-by-side.… Read the rest

Cathay Pacific Upgrade Experience

A couple of days before my scheduled return flight from Chennai to SF I was thinking about the wonderfully uncomfortable economy seat and decided that it would probably be worth it to pay a fee and upgrade to business. This was on a Friday night (flight was on Sat night) and the Cathay Pacific office in Chennai was already closed so I went to their website to see if I could upgrade online. After spending some 20 minutes looking through their website I had to admit defeat and decide to instead give their office a call on Saturday morning to see if I could do the upgrade over the phone instead.… Read the rest