Muse’s new app

Photo: Shirlaine Forrest

One of my favourite rock band Muse has just released a fantastic new app for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. The Muse App features all the best parts of the official Muse website plus bonus content including a special edition of the band’s latest album The Resistance.

The Muse App, which is available via the iTunes Music Store, lists upcoming tour dates, music videos and photographs. In addition fans can directly upload and tag their own images taken at gigs with this application.

Here are some screenshots of the app, taken from the iPhone:

Other features include:

  • Muse Map – All the global information on a zoom-able map. See how many Muse members, images and tour dates apply to your city!
  • Gig Pics – Take a picture from your iPhone at a Muse show, tag it to the show you’re at and upload it straight to for everyone to see.
  • The Resistance – A special section on the new album including an AppBook, the video for Resistance, audio of United States of Eurasia and 30 second clips of all the album tracks.
  • Tour – details of all the forthcoming tour dates including links to buy tickets etc.
  • Feeds – RSS feeds of Muse News, Tour Dates, Muse Twitter, the band’s Delicious Feed and MuseLive and Microcuts news.
  • Video Player – An integrated video player featuring all the video content from
  • Forum – an iPhone/iPod Touch friendly forum skin for all you forum users.
  • Background Switcher – pick your favourite background for the app from a selection of Muse designs.

Sounds cool right? The best part is the price. Only £1.79. Rock on!

Lotus returns back to Formula One with the T127

This is the new T127 from Lotus F1 Racing, now run by Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes. It ends the 16-year gap since the famous Lotus name last raced in the Formula One World Championship.

The classic British Racing Green makes a welcome appearance on the T127 adopting the same colour scheme first used by the legendary outfit way back in the 1950s and 60s.

Tony Fernandes expressed his joy when the new 2010-spec Lotus was officially launched in London and he hopes it can carry on the rich motor sport history as pioneered by the original owner of the team Colin Chapman.

“Words cannot express how I feel today,” said Fernandes. “It is an amazing job to get an F1 licence, have five people in Hingham and turn up today with this car.

“I was thrilled when Clive [Chapman] said that this was just like the beginning of Lotus back in the early days.”

He added: “We know we have a huge burden on our shoulders, standing on the shoulder of giants – [Jim] Clark, [Stirling] Moss, [Graham] Hill, and [Nigel] Mansell. We know we have a tremendous journey in front of us, we are honoured and cherished to be a part of history – we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts and we will do our best to return Lotus to its glory days.”

The T127 performed its first shakedown test earlier this week at Silverstone, with the team making an appearance alongside its rivals at the Jerez circuit next week for further development work.

Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen will be representing Lotus F1 Racing this year, bringing valuable experience to the new outfit.

Red Bull Racing’s new RB6

This is the new RB6 from Red Bull Racing. The Adrian Newey-designed machine appears to be a logical evolution of the 2009 RB5, which became a major threat to Brawn GP in the second half of last season’s world championship.

The RB6 features a more extreme V-nose solution compared to the RB5, with a highly crafted sidepods and the now standard shark-fin engine cover that has appeared on every other rival machinery.

In addition, the car features an intricate front-wing design and has been fully developed around the double-diffuser concept that had to be incorporated onto the RB5 mid-season last year.

Following their six Grands Prix victories in 2009, which powered the team to second place in the constructors’ championship, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will again be at the wheel of the Adrian Newey-designed challenger.

Webber gave the car its initial run at Jerez shortly after the wraps came off, the team having opted to skip last week’s Valencia session to give them more development and wind tunnel time.

Hopefully this gamble on missing out the first pre-season test will benefit Red Bull Racing with better reliability and performance. The car certainly looks the part with the aggressive aero. Lets see how it goes against the stopwatches.

Jack Bauer heading to the big screen?

After constant rumours of a film adaptation based on the award-winning television drama that is 24, Variety reports that a big-screen transfer is the next logical step for Twentieth Century Fox following eight years of the show.

According to US reports, the television network has picked up a pitch from established screenwriter Billy Ray, who penned the recent Russell Crowe thriller State of Play.

This new project has received a positive backing from the star of the real-time drama Kiefer Sutherland, who plays agent Jack Bauer.

Ray’s storyline would reportedly see Bauer travelling to Europe, although more precise details on what is going to happen have yet to made public. If the film is made, executives will seek to hold on to the creative team that worked on the series in order to maintain the same qualities, which made the show such a hit with fans and critics alike.

It will be fascinating to see how the show can be translated on to the big screen. The ‘real-time’ element must remain but obviously not over a 24-hour period, as that would be a very long film…

In addition, adapting television shows to films could lead to become a hit or a flop. In the case of The X-Files, a popular sci-fi show, two films were made during and after the series.

The first film entitled Fight The Future was a success back in 1998, taking in a box office around $84 million plus $105 million overseas giving a grand total of $189 million. A follow-up with The X Files: I Want To Believe in 2008 was less successful, no thanks for the show being off the air for six years. That film only grossed $68 million worldwide.

Hopefully the same group of writers and producers will maintain that 24 feel. Not to mention the period of filming the television show and making a film will have to be seamless (for continuity reason), although this will be difficult considering the production time in making the show.

Best of luck to Twentieth Century Fox and to writer Billy Ray. I would personally love to see Jack Bauer at my local cinema!

Force India’s new racer

This is the new Force India challenger for the upcoming Formula One season. The VJM03 is an evolution on last year’s car and the Silverstone-based squad hopes it can reward greater success after capturing its maiden pole position and podium finish in 2009.

Just like the other cars launched by the other teams, the VJM03 features the high nose and the shark-fin engine cover treatment as made typical based on this season’s technical rules.

Design director Mark Smith said the new car is an evolution of last year’s VJM02:

“The VJM03 is definitely an evolution of the VJM02 in terms of the design philosophies we have developed at Force India over the last year. We are very happy with the direction, therefore we have opted to evolve the car rather than significantly revise.

“Obviously one of the major aspects we have had to contend with are regulation changes which have had a considerable impact on some aspects of the design of the car. The removal of refuelling from races increases the amount of fuel needed to be stored in the cars – almost twice the amount we ran in 2009. There is a compromise now: either make the car much longer or wider, or, as we have done, a combination of both. This of course has influenced the mechanical design solutions and also the aerodynamics, specifically with respects to the diffuser and bodywork.

“Even with the ban of double diffusers for 2011, we recognise that we still have to push as much as we possibly can in this area in 2010 as we have targets to meet and the double diffuser is a key development aspect of the car.

“The VJM02 was a relatively low drag car that showed well on the low downforce tracks. As was demonstrated throughout 2009, that was a useful attribute but as we go into 2010 we have tried to maintain a high level of aerodynamic efficiency, but we recognise that our championship position will be enhanced by a general level of performance that is suited to all types of circuits. We have, we believe, quite an efficient car overall.”

Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi will race for Force India this year, with Paul di Resta installed as reserve and test driver.

Virgin Racing reveals the VR-01

Virgin Racing are the first of the new Formula One teams to launch their 2010 car, although its original plan to reveal the new VR-01 online was delayed by technical problems.

The VR-01 has been created entirely using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) rather than using the traditional method of a windtunnel.

Designer Nick Wirth believes CFD is the best way for teams to develop Formula One cars under the sport’s new resource restrictions:

“Today is a very proud day for everyone involved with Virgin Racing, however on this occasion, where the car is the star, I want to pay tribute to all the amazing people at Wirth Research who deserve so much of the credit for the VR-01.

“Putting together an F1 team, assembling an engineering group and designing a new car from scratch is an epic task in the timeframe we have been working to.

“I have been fortunate to have worked with the very best designers in F1 and I am well aware of exactly what it takes to be successful in this sport. When you see what the existing teams have achieved using the conventional but proven design approach, it is unsurprising that there is a great deal of scepticism about our all-CFD approach.

“But we are competing in a sport that is undergoing significant change having come face to face with today’s harsh economic realities. Under resource restriction, convention will become too costly and necessity really will be the mother of invention. I have absolute belief in the digital design process and the opportunity to put the all-CFD approach to the test at the highest level – to demonstrate that this could be the way for the future of F1 – is very, very exciting.”

Richard Branson’s ambitions project to set-up a new racing team was officially launched in December, when Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock were announced as Virgin Racing’s race drivers.

A shakedown of the new car will take place on Thursday and Friday at Silverstone followed by a proper testing session at Jerez, where it will become the first of the new entrants to test alongside the established squads. Let see how the CFD created car will do when compared to the windtunnel designed versions.

The new FW32 from Williams

From that initial spy shot as revealed by Autosport, the first official day of Formula One testing in Valencia has allow us the unique opportunity to see the latest creation from Williams up close and personal.

Just like the previous 2010 cars, the Williams FW32 features a high nose but with some distinctively narrow struts from which the front wing is suspended. In addition, a second air intake can be seen behind the main one.

Rubens Barrichello and GP2 champion Nico Hulkenburg will carry out the testing duties as Williams set out to improve their seventh place finish last season.

Lets see how fast this new Cosworth-powered car can do when compared to the others in this week’s testing.

The W01 Silver Arrows

This is the actual Silver Arrows in which the Mercedes GP team will race in the upcoming Formula One season.

The W10 features that typical Red Bull Racing style high nose plus a small fin on the engine cover.

Ex-Williams driver Nico Rosberg will have the unique opportunity to shakedown the new Mercedes race car first during the opening day of official testing at Valencia. As for Michael Schumacher, all attention will be on the timesheets to see if he can still maintain that level of competitiveness since retiring from Formula One racing back in 2006. The German will drive the W01 in the afternoon session.

New Toro Rosso STR5 breaks cover

Scuderia Toro Rosso became the latest team to unveil their 2010 car. The STR5 is the first machine that Toro Rosso had to make itself, following the ban on customer cars in Formula One.

“2010 is a landmark year for Scuderia Toro Rosso as the new regulations demand that we go it alone in terms of designing and building our car in-house,” said team boss Franz Tost.

“After four years of working in collaboration with Red Bull Technology, the STR5 is the first car that is one hundred percent down to our own endeavours.

“Creating the necessary infrastructure to tackle this task has been our biggest challenge, possibly more difficult than actually producing the car itself. We have taken on an additional eighty staff and expanded our facility to accommodate them, including a Machine Shop to increase our production capacity.

“In addition, we have commissioned a wind tunnel in Bicester, England, which we bought from Red Bull. It will take time for the highly skilled team we have assembled to learn to work together as efficiently as possible.

“Making predictions for the coming season is a dangerous trap, but if pushed, I would say we must aim to finish in the top eight in the Constructors’ Championship, while giving our young drivers everything they need to improve, as well as optimising our infrastructure in order to be as competitive as possible in 2010 and beyond.”

Following the trend set by the other 2010 cars, the STR5 features a high nose and a shark fin engine cover. In addition a double diffuser, adapted from the STR4 when this particular aerodynamic device was made legal by the sport’s governing body last year.

The driver line-up remains the same as 2009 with Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari representing the junior Red Bull team.