Somehow, a reporter for Road & Track got to test the Mach 5, the car from the upcoming Speed Racer movie. We got to see the Mach 5 at the Detroit auto show, although the one we saw looked like a nonfunctional mock-up. Some of the features and specs covered in the Road & Track article seem fictional, such as the "crampons" that are supposed to wrap around the tires for better traction. But the article includes pictures of things such as the saw blades that pop out from the front, so we're not really sure what to believe.
Me, I'd go with the "This last part, and much of everything else, is a re-creation of what may happen in a Speed Racer episode and the upcoming movie. As for driving a real Mach 5, I'll just have to keep pretending" at the end. Plus the explicit acknowledgment that the "photos" are all CG, which makes fake-outs like this absurdly easy these days, even when it's not April Fool's and they're just doing "speculative renderings" of wat upcoming cars "might" look like, often based on nothing but the CG artist's imagination.
Road & Track has a nasty habit of relying on "digital illustrations" to such a degree that you can't even tell which photos are real anymore; it's only picked out (if you're lucky) by a fine-print caption somewhere. (One of the reasons why I prefer Automobile these days; their material tends to be a lot more authentic, even when that puts them at a disadvantage in reporting rumors of upcoming models.) But being a magazine, at least they have the luxury of presenting their April Fools' fakeouts well in advance of April, so nobody has their guard up yet.
I'm going to have some more time to do things like watch portable TV shows and read books during commute hours, it seems; so it seems opportune that Damien Del Russo has a suggestion to get my reading list kicked off after a long hiatus:
To be honest, I havenít read or watched much of anything about Alaska in a long long time. After working in a bookstore in Fairbanks (the farthest north independent bookstore in the country), and seeing what was being published about Alaska (donít even ask me what I think about Jon Krakauer), there didnít seem to be much of a point. I was nearly always disappointed and sometimes even angry. I donít know everything about Alaska -- not by a long shot -- but I know enough and it has been clear to me for awhile that most authors writing about the state know next to nothing at all. And then I read Ordinary Wolves.
Author Seth Kantner has spent his entire life immersed in what is truly a uniquely Alaskan lifestyle. After years spent reading books that did not portray the Alaska he knew, he decided it was time to write his own. The decision to make his story fiction was easy Ė as he explained to me when we met recently, ďit freed me from a lot of research and allowed me to write what I know.Ē What Kantner knows, better than most, is what it is like to live in a very remote place on the Earth, and not only survive there, but thrive. What he explores in his book however, is the tradeoffs that anyone must make when they choose such a distant life.
Boy, if that isn't an enticing testimonial, I don't know what is. But of course now I'm dying to know what the reviewer does think about Krakauer, to say nothing of the Into the Wild movie...
("Tradeoffs", indeed. New York is hardly the Alaskan bush, but somehow I imagine I might find something to relate to here...)
PC Magazine has given the nod to Leopard over XP, Vista, and Ubuntu as its pick for the best all-around OS.
In the e-mail roundup introducing the article, Lance Ulanoff put it thus:
The past couple of years in computing and, especially platform watching, have been among the most interesting of my 17 years in the industry. Microsoft Windows Vista was supposed to be the best Windows ever, Mac fans eagerly awaited and then welcomed what may be the best Mac OS ever, and Linux lovers enjoyed the easy wonders of Ubuntu. More importantly, the tide began to shift, and while most of the world still uses Windows, we at PCMag began to seriously wonder if itís the best choice for the vast majority of users. Now weíre delivering our answer. Itís controversial, and not without some caveats. Just remember, when we look back on this time from what may very well be a whole new platform landscape, you read it all at PCMag.com first.
I don't know if this is the first time PC Magazine has come right out and said something like this (on second thought, it probably isn't); but hey, they sure seem to think it's a milestone.