The First Afghan Sports Car Has An Engine You Shouldn’t Mock

In the news today, Afghanistan has made its first sports car, and it’s a sleek and low-slung model with a throaty exhaust note that would get a second look on the Autobahn just as much as it does on the streets of Kabul. Making a modern sports car is an impressive achievement no matter where you do it, but it wouldn’t be something we’d share with you were it not for how the story is being reported. The general tone of Western reporting is focused not upon the car itself, but instead poking fun of it for using a Toyota engine also found in a Corolla.

Anyone who grew up during the Cold War will remember the rhetoric of the era with respect to technology. To paraphrase a little, our planes or rockets were based on the finest and latest high technology, we were told, while theirs were held together with string and sealing wax from the 1940s. This neglected the fairly obvious fact that Soviet probes were visiting all the planets, something they must have had some pretty good tech at their disposal to achieve. This was then explained as the product of their having stolen all our super-advanced Western tech, something we now know that our lot weren’t averse to either when the opportunity arose.

It’s this which is brought to mind by the mirth of the Western commentators at the Afghan car’s supposedly humble engine. It doesn’t matter what you think of the Afghan regime (and there’s plenty there to criticize), the car should be assessed on its merits. After all, it’s hardly as though the engine in question didn’t find its way into more than one sports car that Western commentators might find appealing.

Military Steals Idea Of Anyone Who Ever Tied A Cellphone Camera To Quadcopter


Check out the toy this solder is using. It’s a tiny remote-controlled helicopter. The thing comes in a kit that includes a small tablet through which the nose-mounted camera image can be viewed. These are in use in Afghanistan by the UK Military. The purpose is to help protect foot soldiers by allowing them to perform discrete reconnaissance. What would you pay for this type of life saving technology? How does $31 million for 160 units sound? For that price we expect eight propellers and a cinema quality camera.

The drone is manufactured by Prox Dynamics. They’ve been in development since 2008 and you can bet that a lot of that time went into making it “inaudible” which is the main difference we see between this and hobby-built versions. For now you’ll have to deal with trying to make your own since they will only sell to the government.

The best we can do for you when it comes to video of the thing is prototyping footage from 2009 (after the break). If you have a link to a newer clip we’d love to see it in the comments.

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OLPC Pedal Power


A One Laptop Per Child group out of Afghanistan have come up with a way to power the XO using pedals. The system interfaces a set of pedals with the Freeplay hand-crank charger, freeing up both hands for typing. Although not as compact, using both legs makes power generation much easier. Apparently a child as young as 3rd grade is able to pedal this well enough to power the computer in real time.

We just hope this contraption is used for learning and betterment, and not in a pedal-for-porn scenario.

[via Gizmodo]