Posts Tagged ‘Mobile’

Zetros, Zetros, Golly! Ultra-Luxury Mercedes-Benz 6×6 RVs Tackle Mongolian Wilderness (And We’ve Got Interior Photos)

31 Mar

In Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, there are a couple of guys who’ve done well for themselves in the business world. One owns a brewery that specializes in German-style beer; the other made his bones in the mining industry. Sometimes, they like to use eagles to hunt for wolves in the Altai mountains.

Now, after a long day of raptor-vs.-lupine action, your average Mongolian businessman might be content to retire to a lean-to by the side of his Land Rover, settling down with his companions and birds of prey for the night. These two, however, have decided to wet-sand the bejeezus out of the concept of roughing it. They bring the indoors with them, bolted to the chassis of Mercedes-Benz Zetros 6×6 trucks. Equipped with a 7.2-liter diesel inline-six that thwacks out 959 lb-ft of torque, the Zetros has three locking differentials and routes the power to all six wheels through a transfer case with a 1.69:1 low ratio.

The interior’s where things really get nutty. Far more opulent than our beloved GMC MotorHome, these custom-built living stations were designed and constructed by Hartmann in Alsfeld, Germany and outfitted by RV-interior specialist Huenerkopf. They feature fully insulated walls, furniture designed to withstand the harsh realm of the Gobi desert, a fully equipped galley, and perhaps most important, heated marble floors and a combo bidet/toilet in the head. One of the trucks also features a parking bay for a quad.

Tech amenities include two TV monitors (in 40- and 46-inch diagonals)—ironically seen in these pics showing a documentary about the wonders of the wild world—satellite communications and a Mac-mini based media hub plugged into a Bose sound system. It’s all run off four 220-Ah batteries charged automatically by a diesel generator and two 80-watt solar panel units mounted on the roof.

In the 1982 cinema classic Conan the Barbarian, the eponymous hero spends some time bunking with a Mongol horde. After a day of battle, a general asks his jubilant charges a simple question, “What is best in life?”

A proud Mongol warrior immediately replies “The open steppe! Fleet horse! Falcons at your wrist and the wind in your hair!”

“Wrong!” interjects the General. “Conan! What is best in life?”

“To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!”

What if the answer were actually both? These custom Zetros trucks may well be your rides.

(Check out our gallery below for even more photos.)


Exclusive: Apple will remove home button on next iPad and iPhone; Photo Booth and iLife coming?

12 Jan

We just got some pretty wild information from one of our Apple sources and while it’s hard to believe at first, it does make sense. We have exclusively been told that the reason Apple just added multitouch gestures for the iPad in the latest iOS 4.3 beta is because the iPad will be losing the home button. Yes, we are told that Apple, at some point in time, will remove the home button from the iPad’s design. Instead of button taps, you will use new multitouch gestures to navigate to the home screen and also to launch the app switcher.

That’s not all, however. In addition to the home button disappearing from the iPad, we’re told that this change will make its way over to the iPhone as well. Our source said Apple employees are already testing iPads and iPhones with no home buttons on the Apple campus, and it’s possible we will see this new change materialize with the next-generation iPad and iPhone devices set to launch this year.

Additionally, we’re told Apple’s popular photo-taking application, Photo Booth, will be appearing on the next iPad. It’s also very possible that we’ll see iLife apps for iOS unveiled around the iPad 2 release as well.

It has been said that Steve Jobs didn’t want any physical buttons on the original iPhone at first, and it looks like he may soon get his wish.


These Apps Are Rampantly Stealing Your Info Without Permission [Privacy]

20 Dec
I love Pandora. I really couldn't do without it. But I could do without its sending my demographic information, phone ID, and location to eight trackers across six companies. And Pandora's far from the worst offender, the WSJ shows us. More »


Word Lens Translates Words Inside of Images. Yes Really.

16 Dec

Ever been confused at a restaurant in a foreign country and wish you could just scan your menu with your iPhone and get an instant translation? Well as of today you are one step closer thanks to Word Lens from QuestVisual.

The iPhone app, which hit iTunes last night,  is the culmination of 2 1/2 years of work from founders Otavio Good and John DeWeese. The paid app, which currently offers only English to Spanish and Spanish to English translation for $4.99, uses Optical Character Recognition technology to execute something which might as well be magic. This is what the future, literally, looks like.

Founder Good explains the app’s process simply, “It tries to find out what the letters are and then looks in the dictionary. Then it draws the words back on the screen in translation.” Right now the app is mostly word for word translation, useful if you’re looking to get the gist of something like a dish on a menu or what a road sign says.

At the moment the only existing services even remotely like this are Pleco, a Chinese learning app and a feature on Google Goggles where you can snap a stillshot and send that in for translation. Word Lens is currently self-funded.

Good says that the obvious steps for Word Lens’ future is to get more languages in. He’s planning on incorporating major European languages and is also thinking about other potential uses including a reader for the blind, “I wouldn’t be surprised if we did French next, Italian and since my mom is Brazilian, Portuguese.”

Says Good, modestly, “The translation isn’t perfect, but it gets the point across.” You can try it out for yourself here.