December 16, 2012

2014 BMW X5, spotted in testing

Late in a car's production cycle, the manufacturer takes the car on the road for real-life testing.

On our way to the Falcons blowout of the Giants today, my son and I spotted five BMW X5s in swirly camouflage coming off I-85. It's not uncommon to see new BMW models in Atlanta, since the company's Greenville plant is only about 2 hours up the road. There was a period around the introduction of the X6 when I saw three small caravans of the new X6 on my way to work.

This was a little different, because the 2014 X5 hasn't been introduced yet, and is expected at next month's Detroit Auto Show. I got 10 seconds of video as we passed the line of SUVs, and my son shot 4 stills, only one of which was really usable, so I've added it at the end of a video I've uploaded to YouTube and embedded below.

For more info on the X5, here's a Car and Driver preview with some stills.

December 16, 2012 in Cars | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 12, 2010

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July 07, 2010

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June 17, 2009

links for 2009-06-16

  • Olympus introduces its "Micro Four Thirds" DSLR. The sensor is much larger than point and shoot standard, while eliminating the viewfinder and pentaprism leads to a body size close to the classic SLR size for the AE-1, OM-1, etc.

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June 13, 2009

links for 2009-06-12

  • I had a MacBook Pro that suffered from the nVidia 8600GT problems, and just came back with a new logic board. I didn't realize Time Machine is linked to your machine via its hardware address. Here's a shell script to reassociate your backup drive with your new machine.

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June 11, 2009

So full of crap: Wingers continue stupid attacks on Letterman

Background here.

So I see that conservatives continue to froth over David Letterman's "tasteless joke about the rape of Sarah Palin's 14-year-old daughter." I put that in quotes because it's their frame, not mine.

This is of a piece with their previous suggestion that then-candidate Obama was equating Palin with a pig when he suggested the Republican Party was "putting lipstick on a pig." The only way their frame makes any sense is if you abandon all reason and the rules of English and comedy.

Here's Letterman's joke:

Setup - Governor Sarah Palin had visited the new Yankees stadium for a game. "During the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez."

It's not let's make sure he's dead..." funny, but Dane Cook has never said anything that funny. To me, it's a joke with two levers: First, Palin's got a daughter who did, in fact, get "knocked up." Second, Alex Rodriguez is seemingly dating every woman in New York these days.

Letterman's audience has no idea who is traveling with the governor of Alaska these days. They know only a few things about Palin: 1) She's governor of Alaska, 2) She was on the ticket with McCain, 3) She was in a beauty pageant, 4) She's got a child with Down's Syndrome, 5) Her husband does something professionally with a snowmobile, 6) She had a disastrous interview with Katie Couric, and 7) She's got a daughter who got pregnant in high school.

To assume that any talk-show comedian would make a joke about Palin that doesn't pivot on one of those 7 things is to intentionally delude oneself. It's perhaps not surprising that The Right is demagoguing this one; Letterman is, at least technically, part of the entertainment industry, but I think they attempt to paint him as a lefty at their own peril. The broad middle may hear that Letterman is on the Republican hit list and decide that it's not much of a party for them, either.

June 11, 2009 in Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 26, 2009

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May 15, 2009

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August 01, 2008

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May 05, 2008

Iron Man freshens superhero genre

MacBook Air @ Macworld
originally uploaded by gnknight1.

Saw Iron Man tonight, and was pleasantly surprised. It seems like the superhero flick has become another tired genre, but this one breaks out of the mold.

I was never a big Iron Man fan as a kid. I always viewed him as Marvel's Batman, the rich industrialist with no innate superpowers who relies on technology to fight Evil. I wasn't a regular reader of “The Invincible Iron Man,” but I read “The Avengers,” which frequently featured Stark/Iron Man, and remember him being a little wooden next to my preferred hero, Spider-Man, who has been an insane cash generator for Marvel Pictures.

On film, though, Iron Man stands up very well. First, Robert Downey, Jr. is probably the best actor ever to make a superhero movie. Downey develops Tony Stark's character through a freshening of the Iron Man creation myth, nailing the laugh lines and making me think so much less of Tobey Maguire, who turned the wise-cracking wall crawler into a callow crimefighter. Downey's an entertaining lead, and he makes the existential crisis Tony Stark suffers believable.

Gwyneth Paltrow usually doesn't do much for me, but she's likeable in the female lead, and is developed beyond the comic-book formula damsel in distress. She's set up for future plotlines, as are director Jon Favreau (as Stark's chauffeur) and Terrence Howard (Stark's friend and pilot Jim Rhodes). I wasn't sure if Jeff Bridges was up to his role, but he was fabulous. The Dude he's not, but somehow, he still abides.

Writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and director Favreau take their time introducing the character and the superhero, so the movie is far more than a series of battle scenes. Downey gets to explore Stark the playboy, the tinkerer, the trust-fund baby, and the figurehead CEO, in additon to the superhero.

Geeks will enjoy the advanced tech that Stark uses in his Dean Kamen-style workshop and playroom. It's probably the best developed set of advanced user interfaces since Minority Report, with speech interfaces, eye-tracking, multi-touch, ubiquitous computing, and gorgeous, beautiful, lickable widgets on all the movie's many computer and view screens.

Action sequences were good, not great, with the key battle happening in the dark, which always drives me nuts. Effects were believably presented and rendered. There's a little bit of naughties-covered sex early in the film, and, of course, quite a bit of comic-book violence.

May 5, 2008 in Film | Permalink | Comments (0)