Trending December 2023 # 2023 Genesis Gv70 Unveiled To Shake Up Midsize Luxury Crossovers # Suggested January 2024 # Top 20 Popular

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2023 Genesis GV70 unveiled to shake up midsize luxury crossovers

Genesis has revealed its newest model, with the 2023 GV70 promising both style and substance in the competitive crossover segment. Slotting in beneath the GV80 SUV as a smaller, sportier option, the new GV70 sticks with the “Athletic Elegance” design aesthetic we’ve seen from the Korean automaker recently, though arguably at its most extreme.

At the front, there’s the now-familiar superhero crest grille that Genesis has used on models like the G90 and G70. In the case of the GV70, however, it has a more beveled appearance courtesy of a sharply angled inner-edge.

Flanking it are the quad-LED headlamps the automaker has also made its own in recent months. Here, they’re above oversized air intakes in the lower fascia. Missing, however, are the LED counterparts on the front fender which the GV80 has, though the GV70 retains the sweeping shoulderline which trails down into the rear quad-LED taillamps.

It’s the rear three-quarter which is likely to be most controversial, particularly in the way that the glass aft of the rear door pillar fits into things. Genesis has used an unusual dog-leg chrome trim to emphasize that, above a secondary crease line. You can’t say it’s not distinctive, though we suspect it’ll be fairly polarizing.

So too will Genesis’ wheel designs. The automaker has carved out a reputation in recent years for its more outlandish selection of rims, including unexpectedly retro deep-dish designs for the G90 and snowflake-like options for the G80. We’ve now seen two possibilities for the new GV70 and, while one is fairly straightforward, Genesis decision to give the 2023 GV70 Sport 21-inch textured finish wheels – as though spider-webs have been pressed into their spokes – is certainly a daring one.

Inside is likely to be less contentious, following on from other recent well-received cabin designs. The rugby ball-esque steering wheel of the GV80 has been carried over in one interior, while the sportier version of the cabin has a more familiar three-spoke wheel instead; either way, the center console and HVAC controls are reworked from what we’ve seen before. An ultra-wide display sits on top, controlled with a new design for Genesis’ multi-function controller. That’s ahead of the familiar rotary gear selector. The GV70 Sport will have carbon fiber trim in the center and on the doors.

Genesis has been praised for the quality of its cabins of late, and the GV70 is shaping up to be no different. It should also be fairly tech-heavy, and is likely to feature the 3D instrument cluster that the automaker has been offering as an option on upper trims of its G80 and GV80 models.

For now, technical specifications are in short supply. It seems likely that Genesis will offer its existing 2.5-liter four-cylinder and 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 in the GV70, paired with its 8-speed automatic transmission. AWD is probably going to be an option, rather than standard, too. Figure on more details in the coming months, ahead of a likely release sometime next year.

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Skateboarding? Surfing? Climbing? New Sports Shake Up Olympic Traditions

Skateboarding? Surfing? Climbing? New Sports Shake Up Olympic Traditions

Caroline Marks, an American professional surfer, rides a wave on July 22 at Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya, Japan, during a training session for the 2023 Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo by AP/Francisco Seco


Skateboarding? Surfing? Climbing? New Sports Shake Up Olympic Traditions Nine events have been added to the record-breaking 2023 Tokyo Games

The rescheduled 2023 Tokyo Olympic Games finally begin on Friday. In addition to being a long-awaited return to Olympic competition, this summer’s Games will feature six new events and three spin-offs of existing events that are sure to entertain, and possibly also confuse, fans across the globe.

The International Olympic Committee authorizes its host cities to propose new events ahead of each Olympics, often introducing emerging sports or games that are popular in their country. This year, the Tokyo Olympics were expanded to include a record-high 339 medal events.

New Sports

One of the brand-new Olympic sports is skateboarding, and there are already plans for it to continue in Paris in 2024. Men’s and women’s competitors will cover park and street divisions: park skateboarding will be held in courses in smooth concrete bowls—like massive, empty swimming pools—and street skateboarding will be around courses with real-world objects like rails and stairs. A panel of judges will score each run.

Surfing will also be added to this year’s and future Games, serving as another example of the increasing popularity of action sports. The event will be held at Tsurigasaki Beach, and the date will be determined based on the best wave conditions. Six surfers from the United States will participate, spanning across both the men’s and women’s divisions.

Nyjah Huston, an American professional skateboarder, grinds a rail on July 21 in Tokyo, Japan, during a street skateboarding practice session for the 2023 Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo by AP/Gregory Bull

Sport climbing is one of the youngest sports to debut at the Olympics, officially becoming an organized sport only in 1985 and growing rapidly since. While climbers usually specialize in one area—speed, boulder, or lead—Olympic climbers will take on all three disciplines, putting together a combined score that will be used to name the top overall male and female climbers.

Karate is at the opposite end of the age spectrum, finally debuting after its origins centuries ago. The event will test three weight classes of male and female athletes in kata, a solo competition to assess technique, and kumite, based on one-on-one sparring. Though it will not be renewed at the Paris Games, karate is a staple of Japanese sports history and an exciting one-off addition.

Returning Sports

Baseball and softball will both be restored to the Games after their removal in 2008, though neither will appear at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Both will feature a six-team tournament, with  baseball hosting the Dominican Republic, Israel, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and the United States, and softball welcoming Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and the United States.

When these sports were last played in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Japan defeated the United States to take the softball title, while South Korea overcame Cuba in baseball. As the home of the respected Nippon Professional Baseball league, Japan has long been a baseball hot spot, producing star players, such as recent Major League Baseball phenom—on the mound and at the plate—Shohei Ohtani.

New Varieties of Current Sports

Basketball fans will be eager to see the Olympic debut of three-on-three basketball, reducing the size of teams from five players to three and cutting the court in half. There will be men’s and women’s brackets, just like traditional Olympic basketball, but games will be played outdoors and completed when a team reaches 21 points or when a 10-minute buzzer sounds.

BMX freestyle will be offered as an extension of cycling, branching off of BMX racing, which has been an Olympic sport since 2008. Just like with skateboarding, BMX freestyle will revolve around the athletes’ performance in an isolated BMX park. Riders will get multiple attempts to execute their best tricks, and judges will be on hand to select the winners.

The final introduction is mixed team events, encouraging competition regardless of gender. Swimmers will compete in relay teams with two men and two women, male and female archers will face off head-to-head, and triathletes will join forces on the track for a relay of two men and two women.

Additionally, judo will form teams across six divisions between both genders and three different weight classes, track and field will be held as a relay with two men and two women, shooting will pair male and female athletes, and table tennis will be conducted as a mixed doubles event.

Spectators will not be allowed at the 2023 Tokyo Olympic Games, as announced earlier this month. However, fans will still have plenty to look forward to with these new sports and countless classics being broadcast internationally between July 23 and August 8. American viewers can enjoy the action through NBC’s media channels, such as chúng tôi and Peacock.

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You Built What?! The Luxury Motorcycle Sidecar

In 1989, François Knorreck took a long ride in the sidecar of a friend’s motorcycle and enjoyed it so much that he decided to build a rig of his own. Now, 20 years, 63 bodywork molds and innumerable headaches later, he has it: a handcrafted masterpiece that’s part motorcycle, part Lamborghini.

At the motorcycle’s controls, Knorreck has pushed the vehicle to 125 miles an hour, near its estimated top speed, but never intends to fully open it up. After all, he says, despite the sidecar’s looks, it’s only along for the ride.

Hop In

The sole door opens Lamborghini-style, driven by an electric motor.

How the Real Life Lunar Lander Recplica Works

Cost: $22,000

An Artistic Masterpiece

“The part that I’m most proud of is the bodywork,” Knorreck says. “Not the design, but the high level of finishing.” The sidecar isn’t merely welded to the motorcycle—the two are seamlessly linked, from the chassis to the wiring to the carbon-fiber, hand-crafted body. Getting the two pieces to work in concert was no easy feat. With the sidecar’s wheel positioned too far forward or back, the off-kilter weight distribution could cause the bike and sidecar to roll forward and to the right. (Errors distributing the vehicle’s 877 pounds could also put excess strain on the frame, leading to structural cracks.) To remedy these problems, Knorreck built an adjustable aluminum chassis so he could tinker with the wheelbase and other elements to see what worked best before adding interior parts. He found that moving the sidecar’s wheel forward just enough, relative to the motorcycle’s rear one, provided additional stability and ensured a straight ride.

The original motorcycle had a gravity-fed system in which the fuel ran down to the carburetors from above. But Knorreck found that he had to relocate the tank and place it underneath the body of the sidecar. Then he added an electrical pump to route the fuel to the engine.

Knorreck built the entire frame and body of the sidecar (he had to make 63 different molds by hand to create its various carbon-fiber panels), but he’s no upholsterer, so he had a friend custom-manufacture the seats. Just in case tooling around in a freakishly cool sidecar wasn’t enough for his passengers (it can seat two at a time), he installed a stereo system. For that, however, he kept costs to a minimum, using an old radio from his father.

The Luxury Sidecar

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Next Up: Five Ones To Watch In September 2023

In 2023, we witnessed the birth of a new creator economy on the blockchain. Since NFTs took center stage, artists have achieved NFT superstardom, billion-dollar brands have been forged in just a few months, and lives have been utterly transformed time and again. Yet, the most inspiring thing about the NFT space is the number of artists of all creeds and mediums who have found community and support by embracing this technology.

In keeping with our mission to empower creators, we present Next Up — our monthly franchise dedicated to showcasing rising artists. In our September edition, we’ve curated a list of five ascendant talents who are poised to make significant waves in 2023.

Alizé Jireh

Alizé Jireh is a 22-year-old self-taught photographer and filmmaker who has worked in more than 25 countries on a range of promotional and documentary projects in the past six years. She explored self-portraiture during the pandemic, and crafted her own unique brand of conceptual photography — designed to reflect someone eager to explore the rawest and most sensual experience by wandering through ordinary environments with curious eyes.

We spoke with Jireh, and asked a few questions about NFTs, and her artistic process.

How did you first become interested/involved in NFTs?

My friend Summer introduced me to the Twitter community and NFT world a little under a year ago. I was being shadow banned on Instagram at this time and felt a little lost and rejected as an artist in that space. I quickly fell in love with the Twitter community that very openly welcomed me into this space and offered reflection and support in ways I had never experienced before. I started dipping my toes in the NFT waters at the beginning of 2023. I’m grateful to the collectors that have supported me so far and am now ready to dive all the way in. I feel inspired and uplifted by this digital art world and am excited to keep learning and growing in it.

How would you describe your art? What’s your process like?

I would describe my art as an exploration of the human body as lifeless nature, as an inanimate object that mixes with its surrounding landscape. I study the intensity of human emotion through surrealism and dreamscapes. Solitude, observation, sensuality… the soul. I spend as much time as I can wandering in places and trying to recreate visions I’ve had in daydreams and am often inspired by the aesthetic/emotional analysis of a space and how my body feels in it. Then I set up my tripod and put on the timer, then mold my body with whoever or whatever is with me, and start shooting.

Do you have any drops/collections on the horizon we should keep an eye out for?

I still have one piece available to collect in my NFT collection SENSUS on Foundation, and a small photography NFT collection that will come out this month featuring work I have been quite anxious to mint. After this, I’ll be working on releasing new works that I am excited to curate as collections in the very near future.

Lewis Osborne

Lewis Osborne is a freelance illustrator/animator from Bristol. He first became interested in design at age 15 after stumbling upon YouTube tutorials on “making cool backgrounds.” After going to school for graphic design and securing a job in the field, Osborne continued to illustrate/animate in his spare time, eventually becoming a full-time freelancer in October 2023, leading to him gaining notoriety in the NFT space.

We also spoke with Osborne, and asked a few questions about NFTs and his artistic process.

How did you first become interested/involved in NFTs?

I first heard about NFTs from someone who sent me a DM on Instagram in 2023 saying that my work would do well on a website called Hic Et Nunc on Tezos. I had no idea what NFTs were, and I was seeing some people hating on NFTs quite early on so I was a bit hesitant about giving it a go. Eventually, he explained a lot more about it and convinced me to give it a go. I absolutely love the Tezos community and the stunning art that I’ve discovered from it. I couldn’t be more grateful to the guy for sending me that DM.

How would you describe your art? What’s your process like?

I would describe my work as playful and hypnotic. I like to play with my signature happy and sad faces in unusual environments that draw on this relatable feeling of feeling confused in this weird world. I feel like a fair few of my ideas stem from me being generally quite an anxious person, so I’m always trying to think of weird ways to visualize my thoughts and express how I’m feeling. I find that my best ideas pop into my head while I’m going for a stroll around Bristol and simply taking the world in.

My actual design process is generally bog-standard. I’ll start by sketching out an idea, then I’ll create the vectors in Adobe Illustrator, and then I’ll animate them using Adobe After Effects. I always finish my pieces with a texture overlay and export them out at 12 FPS as I love that it adds to the retro feeling of my work.

Do you have any drops/collections on the horizon we should keep an eye out for?

I’ve actually just been accepted by SuperRare which is extremely exciting, so you can expect to see my debut there soon! Other than that, I am planning to carry on adding to my Moving Cities and Balloon Fiesta collections as well as creating further random loops, all of which you can find on my OBJKT profile.

Niall Ashley

Niall Ashley is a Bristol-born, London-based painter and performance artist taking the NFT space by storm with their unique, multidisciplinary works. Having first found a knack for creation early on in life, Ashley pushed their artistic prowess aside throughout grade school out of necessity.

We had the opportunity to ask Ashley a few questions about NFTs and their artistic process.

How did you first become interested/involved in NFTs?

NFTs introduced the possibility of performance art being able to exist in its final raw form as an entity that constantly reinterprets itself from digital wallet to front-end platform to LED screen to transaction. In the past, performance breaks down into collecting stills or compressed video in physical formats as an afterthought to creating work. This new provenance change excited me as an artist, and I immediately dove into the space.

How would you describe your art? What’s your process like?

My art examines the context of avatars in a social media landscape and uses such containers to define content as high art. I present multiplicity as a vehicle for expressing tangents of one’s identity, an extension of Édouard Glissant’s “Opacité.” Through the flattening of topographic canvas and polygonal mesh, I aim to question institutional concepts of aura and what constitutes a work of art, as well as accepting the [matrices] of TikTok and Instagram’s interpersonal format as a paintbrush itself.

Creating starts with throwing up spray paint and oil stick on canvas, intuitively worldbuilding with a central painted figure to later be digitally immortalized. Next, I scan and lift off these painted textures into sculpted 3D and create an extended narrative via Unreal Engine. Then performance becomes a mechanism to bring life into a digital avatar, using motion capture to create a playful scene in my studio, typically including prop work and dialogue. Finally, I present a digital moving image painting in tandem with its physical counterpart, flattening the hierarchy between medium and becoming an affirmative one with my art practice.

Do you have any drops/collections on the horizon we should keep an eye out for?

Elixir is my next big project. It’s a series of physical and meta-paintings using Los Angeles as a case study for alchemy in the form of consumer goods and manufactured realities. I released the first piece last month, named regenerate+repair[2oz], and the following pieces will be dropping in tandem over the next two months. As an extension to this project, I also want to create avatar DAOs for each character presented in these works, following the Nouns model with some new twists.


Yinkore is a self-taught digital artist from Nigeria. Her art focuses on her lived experiences as a Black woman, highlighting her own personal struggles navigating mental health issues, sexuality, and activism through artistic defiance. After walking away from her job as a lawyer, Yinkore found success in the NFT space early on. Her collections sold out, she worked on group exhibitions, she engaged with brands like ConcenSys and Blockworks, and she also became aware of the need to reinvest into the NFT ecosystem, becoming a prominent voice in the push for inclusivity.

We had the opportunity to ask Yinkore a few questions about NFTs and her artistic process.

How did you first become interested/involved in NFTs?

It was through my friend Z4HIIR, an amazing 3D artist. He had been actively involved in the space and had told me how he thought my art would thrive if I joined back in June 2023. I was a bit intimidated by all the tech and art though, so I stayed away till he gave me a foundation invite later in the year. Back when those were incredibly tough to come by, I had just left my job, so that gave me the push I needed to at least give it a try.

How would you describe your art? What’s your process like?

My art is a love letter to Black women. In its simplest form, that really is what it is. Someone tweeted something about not really having an art style but having an artistic voice in all your pieces, and I related to that very heavily. I like to play around with my art in terms of styles, colors, and textures, but my central theme is always Black women. They’re the reason I create.

As for my process, it’s very chaotic. I’m very much in my maximalist era, so I have an idea then add fifty things on top of that. I have a general understanding of what I want to say, but honestly, everything, till I get to my final product, is often just trial and error. While I take my work seriously, I’m also aware that my work is very emotional so I often just have to trust my intuition and play around with textures, colors, and patterns till they feel right.

Do you have any drops/collections on the horizon we should keep an eye out for?

As an artist there’s always new work, so would love people to stay connected regardless. But majorly, I’m in an artist residency program with Wildxyz, they’re a platform, launching soon, that I think is really going to change things up because of their focus on building interactive experiences. The residency also paired me with a mentor as part of the program, Kate Vass. It’s been really exciting to access additional expertise as I move through the program. I’ll be dropping a generative collection with Wildxyz that I’m currently working on right now. I’m being extremely intentional, and it’s a lot of hard work so I can’t wait to see how it’s received.


We had the opportunity to ask ZafGod a few questions about NFTs and his artistic process.

How did you first become interested/involved in NFTs?

I first got involved in NFTs at the beginning of November 2023 when I randomly searched one night for alternative ways to sell my work. I discovered OpenSea, and from there I fell down the rabbit hole, and a new world of possibility opened up to me. It has really helped me grow as an artist, it’s fantastic!

How would you describe your art? What’s your process like?

I wouldn’t say I’m interested in a specific style. Instead, I enjoy experimenting and learning new things. I make every effort to broaden my horizons. I call it “Future Mixed Media” because it’s an eclectic combination of traditional techniques and new media. So even though it is an outcome of my witnessing, my art is more about your seeing than it is about mine. I’m also enchanted by the sense of presence. That is, space in which you experience a presence, nearly akin to an entity. That physical sensation and power that space may provide.

As far as the process goes, it’s trial and error and a lot of freestyle. I’m inspired by the music scene and the idea of freestyle, so I wanted to bring some of that freedom to my process. Besides that, each technique has its own process, so I mix them up until I am satisfied with the results.

Do you have any drops/collections on the horizon we should keep an eye out for?

The first piece that I dropped on SuperRare: OMEN 17. It resembles one of my most predominant styles of painting.

2023 Audi A8 First Drive: The New Luxury

2023 Audi A8 First Drive: The new luxury

It’s a more striking car than its predecessor, from the bold “Singleframe” grille at the front, through the more sculpted crease-lines on the hood and sides, to the muscular emphasis above the wheel arches and the rear with its distinctive lighting. I suspect it’ll age more gracefully than many of its competitors. Audi has both standard and long-wheelbase versions, though the US will only get the latter: just 10-percent of sales of the old A8 were of the short-wheelbase model.

Sadly the dramatic lighting on the car you see here won’t make it to American shores. Blame archaic regulations for the absence of laser headlamps up front, and the more dramatic OLED lighting at the rear. Audi puts the latter to great use, with sweeping animations that the automaker claims makes turn signals and such more readily recognized, but the US rule-makers don’t think you’re ready for them.

Audi will keep it easy for the US, with a single engine option at launch that’ll also help the car escape the automaker’s fairly confusing new badging nomenclature. The A8L will come with a 3.0-liter V6 TFSI, with 340 HP and 369 lb-ft. of torque, and a top speed of 155 mph. It’s paired with a sweet- and smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission, and 0-62 mph comes in 5.7 seconds.

It’s a so-called “mild hybrid” engine, which means Audi adds a 10 Ah battery and a belt alternator starter, but that the electrification never actually supplies motive force to the car. Instead, the A8 uses it for some clever coasting: between around 34 and 99 mph, for instance, the car can shut the engine down completely and glide with no fuel consumption, then start the engine up again near-instantaneously. Engine stop-start now works at up to 13.7 mph, rather than when you’re just waiting at the lights. It’s the quietest, most surreptitious implementation of such a system I’ve ever experienced; most of the time, I didn’t even realize it had kicked in.

The economy gains from the mild hybrid system aren’t going to win the A8L any green awards, nor probably challenge the diesel version that Audi has no plans to launch in the US. Rather, it’s all about the smoothness of the experience.

The combination of the silken eight-speed, permanent quattro all-wheel drive, and the purring V6 make for an unruffled car on the road. Speak to Audi’s suspension engineers, though, and you find they have even more ambitious things in mind. Traditionally, the A8 has found itself in the middle of the German luxury sedan space: perceived as not quite as sporting as BMW’s 7 Series, yet not quite as sybaritic as Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class. Audi wants to change that perception, and it wants to have its cake and eat it too.

Clever, then, but not as clever as the electromechanical suspension system. Powered by the 48V system, it can individually control actuators on each of the wheels, for even more precise and rapid adjustments to the car’s dynamics. When combined with a new, forward-facing laser scanner, the A8 will be able to actively look ahead to upcoming road conditions and preemptively adjust its ride height and suspension settings to minimize speed bumps and pothole judder.

It’s almost eerie in how well it works. Watch from the outside, and you can see the A8 crank itself up just before it hits a bump: Audi says it can smooth out more than 3-inches of obstacle, leaving only the slightest of shake in the cabin. Brake hard and there’s no nose-dive as you might expect from a big, heavy sedan; even when I made several laps of a roundabout, pushing harder with each orbit, lateral roll was astonishingly absent. Turns that might normally have your passengers leaning against the doors are flat and steady.

Throw in the dynamic all-wheel steering option, which allows the rear wheels to turn up to 5-degrees – either with the front, or in the opposite direction, depending on speed – and the A8 becomes positively nimble. The turning circle is noticeably reduced, particularly welcome when you consider the A8L is 17.4 feet long, while lane-changes feel more confident.

Indeed, though I’d need to drive them back-to-back to be certain, I suspect the A8 with active suspension is more than enough to take on what Mercedes and BMW are doing right now. If there’s a weakness, it’s that Audi won’t have an S8 at launch to combine those fiendishly clever underpinnings with a performance engine. Though all signs point to one in the pipeline, there’s no telling when an S8 might arrive. Indeed, the V8 and W12 gas engines earmarked for Europe are conspicuously missing any sort of North American roadmap, though Audi at least is making positive noises about the eight-cylinder together with a plug-in hybrid with wireless charging support.

It’s not that the 3.0-liter V6 TFSI is a disappointment. It’s a refined, capable engine that suits the A8’s cruising talents well, with enough pep that overtaking at highway speeds and even a little backroad jaunting were easily within its means. Compared to the beastly Mercedes-AMG S63, though, or BMW’s flight-footed M760i, and Audi’s car is understandably just too restrained by its power shortfall.

The active suspension has another trick, though it’s not something you’d want to see in action. As part of the pre sense 360 safety system, if you get t-boned while you’re traveling at speeds up to 37 mph, the A8 can jerk the car up suddenly by maxing out the suspension travel. In a split second, the car lunges 3.15-inches on the side of impact, enough to redirect the crash forces into the more structural components lower in the doors.

Somewhat confusingly, Audi is eager to highlight that the new A8 was designed for Level 3 autonomous driving, but it won’t launch with the functionality. The Audi AI traffic jam pilot will be able to take over stop-start driving at speeds up to 37.3 mph, on highways and multi-lane highways as long as they have a physical barrier between you and the opposite direction of traffic. Unlike traditional adaptive cruise control systems, there’ll be no reminders to keep your hands on the wheel.

MORE 2023 Audi A8 Level 3 autonomy first-drive

As Vincent found when he tested the system himself, Audi AI traffic jam pilot certainly works. However, it also requires more than just the driver putting their trust in the A8 – it needs regulatory approval, too. It’s that, not the technology, which won’t be ready for the A8’s US debut next year.

When it does arrive, it’ll be a cost-option – final US pricing for the A8 hasn’t been decided, though the current model kicks off at $82,500 – and it’s unclear at this stage whether A8 early adopters will be able to retroactively add AI traffic jam pilot support via a software upgrade later on. Fundamentally it’ll demand a more comprehensive sensor suite be fitted, adding the aforementioned laser scanner at the front to the combination of 12 ultrasonic sensors, four 360-degree cameras, mid-range and long-range radar, and regular and infrared cameras that give the A8 its all-round vision.

They’re not just for autonomous driving, mind. Also under the Audi AI umbrella is remote parking pilot and remote garage pilot, which allow the car to maneuver itself in and out of parallel and perpendicular spaces, or in and out of garages, respectively. As long as the various sensors can see the right gap, and as long as you’ve got your finger on the AI button – either on the dashboard or in the Audi smartphone app – the A8 will trundle its way into the right place, handling the steering, brakes, acceleration, and transmission all by itself.

Inside, the cabin has been completely updated. The A8 gets seating for five, the A8L for four courtesy of a full-length center console and armrest. As well as heating, cooling, and massage options, there’s a “relaxation seat” package that adds a foot massager for the rear right seat, four-zone climate control, Audi’s detachable Android-powered tablets mounted behind the headrests, and a Rear Seat Remote. The latter, about the size of a phablet, pops out of the center armrest and can be used to control multimedia, seat and window settings, and even work as a phone handset for the A8’s VoLTE system.

Those in front aren’t short on touchscreens, mind. Gone is Audi’s old scroll-wheel system, replaced with MMI touch response: a 10.1-inch touchscreen atop the center console, an 8.6-inch touchscreen below it, and the familiar Virtual Cockpit digital instrumentation in front of the driver (with an optional head-up display above).

The center top display is responsible for infotainment – it also shows Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – while the panel beneath it is dedicated to the HVAC and comfort controls. Audi’s capacitive touchscreens support haptic feedback, with a mild buzz as you tap each virtual button. Gone is the old handwriting system, which required you to sketch out letters individually atop the MMI touch rotary controller; now, the whole lower touchscreen can show either a QWERTY keyboard or a huge handwriting panel.

The latter is, quite frankly, the best example of such an interface that I’ve tried to-date. In addition to its sheer size, it usefully supports both block and cursive text. You can trace individual letters with your fingertip, or whole words, and even when I scrawled across the screen – not even looking at the display – it was able to translate my messy cursive. Audi offers auto-predict and auto-correct alternatives as you type, while a simple swipe from right to left clears out the text box.

Alternatively, there’s a new voice recognition system. Though the A8 still uses onboard processing, it also has a cloud-based system when the car is connected. That supports natural language and conversational recognition, though personal details aren’t stored in the cloud for privacy reasons. Eventually, I’m told, the goal is to include voice support for other car features, like being able to control the air conditioning.

If there’s a drawback to all this technology and active safety gadgetry, it’s the potential for driver overload. There are a lot of icons, graphics, and messages to absorb, and while you can shut off the center console top touchscreen, I’d love to see a broader “quiet mode” which pared things back to the bare minimum. The good news is that Audi confirmed to me that they’re also looking at how all that information could be made tidier.

It’s an issue that affects both the 7 Series and the S-Class, too, both of which have each been cranking up their own tech levels. Of the three cars, I prefer Audi for the look and feel of its infotainment system, but I suspect there’ll be a learning curve involved when first getting behind the wheel.

We’re at a fascinating place in high-end vehicles. If the A8 is restrained, it’s by a regulatory framework – or, more accurately, many often-conflicting frameworks – yet to catch up with the technology. Like its peers, Audi could distance the driver even further from the experience of actually driving. That it hasn’t is a matter of policy, not impossibility.

You are the legally-mandated, morally nebulous meat-fuse in the system. Audi knows the car is cleverer than you are; after just a few minutes at the wheel, you yourself know that to be true, too. So much of the technology is designed to stop you from doing dumb, human things. Door handles that pause even as you pull them, should a cyclist be approaching from behind. Sensors that watch out for signs you might be about to curb your beautiful 20-inch alloy wheels. Brakes that automatically stop you if you’re headed for a parking lot ding.

At this point in the luxury sedan game, smooth power, supple leather, and gadgets galore are table stakes. Impressive, cosseting, deeply pleasant table stakes, certainly, but nonetheless the bar has been raised. In a world where technology has eclipsed mere mechanical engineering, the 2023 Audi A8 is quite possibly as smart as it gets.

Seagate Blackarmor Nas 400 Backup & Media Server Unveiled

Seagate BlackArmor NAS 400 backup & media server unveiled

Seagate has outed its latest NAS, the BlackArmor NAS 400, and they’re quite excited about the possibilities its four hard-drive bays offer to homes and small businesses.  The compact, unassuming box can be outfitted with regular 3.5-inch SATA II HDDs or, Seagate suggests, their Momentus XT hybrid, with RAID 0/1/5/10 & JBOD configurations possible.

Connectivity includes twin gigabit ethernet and four USB 2.0 ports, which can be used to add extra external storage.  It’s also straightforward to backup external content to the BlackArmor array, or vice-versa, and you can use it to perform Bare Metal Restores across your home or office network.

DLNA, an iTunes server, remote access, various degrees of access control and quota settings, and ten user licenses of Windows-only backup software round out the deal.  The Seagate BlackArmor NAS 400 is available either as a barebones unit for $399.99, or in 4TB, 6TB or 8TB pre-configurations for $899.99, $1,199.99 or $1,499.99 respectively.

Press Release:

New BlackArmor® NAS 400 Server Delivers Protection, Performance and Flexibility

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. – July 13, 2010 – Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) today introduced the BlackArmor® NAS 400 network storage server, a secure, scalable and reliable 4-bay network storage enclosure designed for the growing storage needs of small businesses and households. This newest addition to the Seagate BlackArmor family of storage solutions allows customers to customize the box to meet their specific requirements and add more storage as needed. Available immediately through chúng tôi and CDW, the BlackArmor NAS 400 server can be purchased for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $399.99.

The BlackArmor NAS 400 server gives customers the option to install the disk drives of their choice, selecting from an variety of Seagate-certified products¹ including Seagate Barracuda® low power drives, Barracuda 3.5-inch 7200 RPM drives or the new Barracuda® XT hybrid drive for maximum performance. A scalable solution, the BlackArmor NAS 400 server allows customers to start by inserting one drive and add up to three more as their business grows.

Similar to Seagate’s other two-and-four bay NAS solutions, the BlackArmor NAS 400 network storage server includes:

Backup and protection tools for up to 50² network-connected PCs with incremental and full-system, automatic backup.

User-configurable RAID 0/1/5/10 & JBOD capabilities, providing a variety of data protection options to help avoid data loss due to hard drive failure.

Hot-swappable drives — no tools required.

Microsoft® Active Directory 2003/2008 support.

Secure remote access with intuitive, web-based management interface, allowing customers to designate user access manually or integrate with Microsoft® Active Directory 2003/2008.

Windows 7 certification.

Ability to centralize, stream and share media files and documents from computers on a network, share them with other DLNA® compliant devices and computers on the network running iTunes® software.

Full system recovery of the operating system, programs and settings, in the event of a system crash or failure with SafetyDrill+™ software.

Event notification to help prevent and manage drive errors or disruption.

Four additional USB ports to connect extra USB storage, share a USB printer or connect an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) to safeguard from power failure.

A 3-year limited warranty.

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