Tag Archives | Reliability

…Shimano wants to shift the way bikes change gears?

Shimano Derailleurs

When speed is everything, anything that shaves off a few seconds can mean the difference between winning and losing, so for Shimano’s new bicycle derailleurs, they’ve gotten rid of cables all together and replaced them with computer controlled motors and gear selectors in an effort to provide smoother and more consistent shifts during the most demanding of races.

They’re not without their detractors however:

“People choose bicycles precisely because a bicycle’s motion requires only human effort, and nothing could be more simple, independent and autonomous,” said Raymond Henry, a cycling historian in St. Etienne, France. “Any source of external energy, however weak, runs counter to this philosophy.”

As with any new technology, these things don’t come cheap, and initial systems are expected to add about $1,250 onto the cost of an already expensive system, but if they can prove their reliability and speed up a rider’s pace, they just might be shifting the gears of every high-dollar race bike in a few years time.

[Via: The New York Times Via: Gizmodo]

…It’s Things Thursday: Dell Inspiron Mini 9?

Dell Inspiron Mini 9

Dell calls it the “Ideal Internet Buddy for Surfing, Shopping and Chatting” (and “Your New Best Friend”, and a “Light, Highly Mobile Device Built For Easy Online Browsing and Entertainment” and an “Internet Companion” and a “Small, easy-to-carry device” that’s ready for “teens, tweens, travelers and Tweeters”, so I guess even Dell can’t figure out what this thing does or who it’s for), but if you’re in the market for a mini-notebook (or as many are calling them, a netbook) that’s perfect for on-the-go travel and/or anyone who doesn’t need a full, desktop capable computer sitting on their lap at all times, then you might just call it yours.

Weighing in at just 2.28 lbs., and with a price of just $349 (in Ubuntu flavor), the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 is designed to be the perfect computer for “surfing the Web, chatting with friends, blogging, streaming content, uploading photos or enjoying favorite online videos, music and games”.

It’s also meant to be a durable computer that you can toss in a bag and not worry too much about, with a fully sealed keyboard, and solid state drive (SSD) memory storage.

The 8.9-inch LCD gives you plenty of room for full-sized web browsing, and built-in Wi-Fi means you can connect to any hotspot for instant Internet access.

Options include a built-in webcam for video chat, Bluetooth for wireless connections, and even Windows XP for full software support.

Nifty touches include a free subscription to Box.net for 2GB of online storage, and a full range of colors in the coming months.

The Inspiron Mini 9 is definitely not for everyone, but with the success that Acer has been having with their EeePC netbooks, combined with Dell’s name brand and reliability, I think the Mini 9 is going to open up the world of netbook computing to a whole new audience that’s ready to embrace the change.

[Dell – Inspiron Mini 9]