Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Holidays From The Spark

Friday, December 14, 2007

Google Pays Blogger Off With Delicious Cookie

I got this from the Google Holiday Media Party.

It was delicious.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The following was a post I wrote for Earth2Tech because I thought it was recent news but apparently this thing has actually been around since January. Oh well. It's still pretty cool, and for those of you who have been to Sioux Falls, South Dakota I hope you appreciate the choice of map selection.

Find the Cheapest Gas or Biofuel with MapQuest

Looking to save a few pennies at the pump? MapQuest has a great feature MapQuest: Gas Prices that allows you to search for the cheapest fuel in your area. Simply enter your zip code and your preferred fuel grade, and MapQuest spits back the prices of the nearest 100+ gas stations, with the dated fuel prices, which you can sort by price or distance.

While MapQuest still suffers from a clunky interface, their new fuel price locater is extremely robust and comprehensive. Not only can you search for gas by fuel grade, but you can search for your favorite alternative fuel -- including biodiesel, E-85, hydrogen, and CNG. You can even use it to find charging stations for your EV. It gives you cool stats like national gas price highs ($4.05 a gallon in Kailua Kona, Hawaii) and lows ($2.40 in Hamel, Minn.), and offers a gas calculator that will calculate the price of a trip.

I'm really enjoying playing around with this tool -- seeing what E-85 is going for in the Midwest, for example, and checking out where one can get hydrogen in California. It's not perfect, however. While good for locating biofuel pumps, it doesn't always include prices; in some cases the prices haven't been updated in months. Still, as someone who grew up in a family that religiously records gas prices and mileage in a notebook in the glove box, this really excites me. What if, every time you fill up at the pump, your car's onboard computer could record all that data and chart it for your on a maplet that you could pull up whenever you're running near E?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Telsa Roadster Getting Ticket?

A picture is worth a thousand words. I attended the ThinkGreen Conference hosted by ThinkEquity today and yesterday (check out my coverage). Outside the conference venue, the St. Regis on 3rd and Mission, there was one of Tesla's $100,000 roadsters parked outside. Behind those velvet ropes is an all electric, carbon fiber body roadster that can do 0-60 in four seconds without making a sound. And while it can out-accelerate most Ferraris, this roadster wasn't actually getting a ticket. The cop was just standing out of the rain while he wrote up a ticket for a nearby 80s-era Honda. Decidedly less exciting.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I Am Legend: Awakening

Will Smith, who saved us from aliens (twice) and robots, is set to fight off vampiric savages in the most recent film adaption of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. This might be the closest we get to see The Fresh Prince take it to some zombie hordes.

In prep for this oddly-themed holiday blockbuster (seriously, this big-budget, monster-ridden, Smith-vehicle has summer popcorn flick written all over it) every bus and bill board in the country is plastered with a post-apocalyptic skyline poster. Additionally, the online ad campaign is ramping up. There's the movie's cryptic website, a Second Life multi-player game, and a beautifully and eerily animated series of shorts from a comic book distributed at Comic-Con 07. I'm trying to get one off eBay.

The book, called I Am Legend: Awakening, consists of five separate stories that document the start of the outbreak. Stories one, two, and four are viewable on the movie's site. Written and illustrated by different artists, including Matheson himself, they provide different facets of the failing struggle against humanities collapse. Stories four, "Sacrificing the Few for the Many," and three, "Isolation," have been made into elegant and violent animated shorts. They aren't embedded here because they really deserve to be watched in HD on Apple's site (linked above). Episode three was just released last week and I'm hoping as the feature film's December 14th release date approaches the remaining stories will also be posted.

This is not the first time Matheson's I Am Legend has gotten an illustrated treatment. Steve Niles, who also wrote the first story in the Awakening series, wrote a comprehensive graphic novel adaptation of I Am Legend back in 1991. I'm still working my way through Kirkman's excellent The Walking Dead series, but I might jump over the check out Matheson's and Niles's works before the movie drops.