'Tron' designer creates Lotus motorcycle minus the blue glow

It's a simple equation. You watch "Tron" or "Tron: Legacy" and then you want a Light Cycle. But you can't have a Light Cycle, because they don't really exist (this crazy custom bike being an exception). You can, however, have an upcoming Lotus C-01 motorcycle, which has "Tron: Legacy" designer Daniel Simon's fingerprints all over it.

The clean lines, low riding position, and silhouette of the C-01 are definitely reminiscent of the "Tron" bikes. Instead of glowing blue, it has gold-painted accents, but you could always repaint it to get closer to the "Tron" look through a customization service that will be offered for the machines.… Read more

A3 e-tron heralds Audi's electric future

LOS ANGELES -- At the 2013 Los Angeles auto show, I had the rare opportunity to drive a car that won't hit U.S. showrooms until 2015, the Audi A3 e-tron. There will be an A3 model here before that, but it will be a sedan and only comes with gasoline and diesel engines. Audi takes a different tack with the A3 e-tron, using its wagon body and fitting the model with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

In fact, the A3 e-tron will represent the first plug-in hybrid car from Audi.

Similar to the standard A3 model, the A3 e-tron … Read more

Science trumps the Force to create a real-life lightsaber

In journalism, there's something called a lede, which is just another word for the main or most important part of your story. Normally you want to lay it out for the reader in the first sentence or two. Obviously, I'm hesitating here.

That's because I can't decide if it's more important that researchers at MIT and Harvard have just managed to create a previously unobserved form of matter by getting photons to bind together into molecules, or the fact that the result is basically a real-life lightsaber -- that could be part of a quantum computer one day.

Actually, I think what this story is really about is...friendship.… Read more

Crave giveaway: 'Tron'-inspired Tokyo Flash Kisai Seven watch

Congrats to Kathleen M. of Savannah, Ga., for winning a Swann Bolt HD wearable action camera in last week's giveaway. This week, we have something you wear on your wrist. Something mighty sleek.

We're giving away a limited-edition green Kisai Seven wristwatch from Tokyo Flash, purveyor of wacky timepieces. The inner ring on the futuristic-looking LED watch functions as the hour hand, and the outer ring as the minute hand. A dark void section in each ring points to the time (dark voids for the win!).

If the Kisai Seven reminds you of "Tron," that's intentional. A few years back, Tokyo Flash solicited watch ideas from fans, and Scott Galloway submitted this design inspired by one of his favorite films (watch this video to see how the watch works). … Read more

Is this 'Tron'-style floor the future of basketball?

Painting lines on a floor for team sports is so old school. Why not use programmable LED lights under a glass surface?

That's what Germany's ASB Systembau is doing with its ASB GlassFloor. With a frame of aluminum supporting a glass floor, it can be set to display lines for sports like basketball, handball, volleyball, or whatever else you want to play.

Ceramic dots on the glass re-create the feel of a wooden surface, while special etchings diffuse the LED light and prevent glare from bothering athletes.

That means you can also have all manner of ads, scoreboards, and graphics on the floor. … Read more

Weird geek baby names of 2012 include 'Google' and 'Jedi'

Oh, what an adorable baby! What's his name? "Google?" Are you serious? Do you realize how many search results he's going to get when he grows up and googles his own name?

Naming a baby "Google" is a phenomenon that first came to our attention in 2005. Apparently, that was just the beginning. "Google" made the list of BabyCenter's most unusual baby names of 2012.

BabyCenter culled its list from a baby-naming survey of more than 4,000 parents. To make the list, a name had to be foisted upon at least two different kids. The spread of geek culture is evident in the list. For example, you can bet little Jedi's parents had a "Star Wars" theme wedding with Han Solo and Princess Leia action figure cake toppers. … Read more

T-RON Cybertech guitar is your sci-fi axe of choice

I have a feeling "Eye of the Tiger" would sound very good on this. But anything from 1982 would too.

That's the year "Tron" came out (as well as sci-fi classics "Blade Runner" and "Star Trek II"), and the T-RON Cybertech from Hutchinson Guitars is a fitting homage axe to the Disney fantasy.

Based on Hutchinson's Cybertech, aka Stormtrooper, guitar, the T-RON has a "retro-futuristic 'living circuit' theme" that screams early '80s. … Read more

Progressive Automotive X Prize winner earmarked for production

Looking a little bit like the light cycles from Tron, but without the glowy bits, the E-Tracer 7009 placed in the top three of the Progressive Automotive X Prize competition in 2010.

Now the two-wheeled, two-seater has been renamed the MonoTracer MTE-150 and is headed to production, according to Auto Blog Green.

The MonoTracer MTE-150 has a Kevlar cabin and runs on a third-generation 150 kW (200 horsepower) drivetrain from AC Propulsion in California.

While the X Prize competitors were challenged to create a vehicle that could reach 100 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent), the MonoTracer could see about 350 … Read more

Audi testing the electric car market

To ready its upcoming fleet of plug-in and electric vehicles for the U.S. market, Audi announced, the company will begin testing a small fleet of electric A3 hatchbacks in different regions throughout the country.

The Audi A3 E-tron has 199 lb-ft torque, a battery range of approximately 90 miles, and a top speed of 90 mph. It looks nearly identical to its conventional gasoline-powered A3 counterpart, but under the hood you'll find an electric motor instead of a 2-liter gasoline or diesel engine. Powering the vehicle is a 26kWh lithium ion battery housed underneath the car, which means … Read more

Crave 58: Replace your face (podcast)

This week, Donald and Eric discuss two street-legal TRON-inspired lightcycles at opposite ends of the price spectrum. Plus, we creep out on a way to perform real-time video face substitution, and the implications it will have on the future of video chat and our children. In geek news, Eric nominates an actor for Zombie of the Year and sounds off on Gears of War 3.

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