Electric cars show big improvement at Pikes Peak

Greg-Tracy-breaks-the-EV-record-at-Pikes-Peak-2014Gasoline powered cars still dominate the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, but electric cars are showing big improvement and may be challenging fossil fuel cars in the near future.  The Mitsubishi shown here cut 38 seconds off of last year’s electric car time, and was only a few seconds behind the overall winner’s time (but almost a minute slower than the course record set last year by Sebastian Loeb).  Will 2015 be the year that an electric race car beats a gasoline one?  I can’t wait to find out!

Also in electric car racing news, Formula E has its first race in September of 2014!  Another milestone in automotive history as those battery-powered race cars take to the track for a one hour race.

via AutoWeek

Tesla releasing patents

Shimano announces XTR Di2 electronic shifting for mountain bikes

I’m not sure why you’d want or need electronic shifting for a mountain bike, but if you do, you’re in luck!  Shimano now makes such a device.  I question the reliability of this though…I just can’t imagine this being comparable to a manually operated derailleur.  Neat gimmick though.  You can read more at gizmag:Shimano announces XTR Di2 electronic shifting for mountain bikes.

The mystery of MH370, and the science behind tracking it

MH370The mystery of MH370’s disappearance seemed to have been solved when Inmarsat used satellite ping data to narrow down its last known location, but a deep sea sonar search of the area has yielded nothing (even though a few audio pings were heard that may have been the plane’s black boxes).  Investigators are re-examining all data, and this is raising questions about Inmarsat’s calculations and assumptions.  There’s a really fascinating article at The Atlantic that talks about this in great detail…how the location is determined, and what some concerns are about the conclusions reached to date.  Cool stuff, and worth reading (quick summary – the conclusions don’t appear to align with the data, and need further explanation).

Adding to the confusion is a geological survey company’s findings in the Bay of Bengal, which they say appears to be a large aircraft at the bottom of the sea, where previous data had showed nothing.  They used a really cool technology…essentially, the data shows what elements are found on the sea floor, and this shows large concentrations of aluminum and other key elements.  However, their findings are being mostly ignored, apart from a couple countries in the area that have dispatched ships to check things out.

Looking ahead…Inmarsat has offered to provide a free tracking service to all passenger airlines, though international agencies like the ICAO and IATA are currently discussing what to do about plane tracking.