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October 29, 2007

Tesla Roadster delayed, but not due to batteries

Jack Yan/22.58

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Darryl Siry at Tesla Motors sent out an email today advising that The New York Times got an important fact wrong about the production delay facing the Tesla Roadster. On his blog are the facts:

I spoke with John Markoff, the author of the article, and he said he was apologetic for the error and will issue a correction and change the story online. After he reviewed his research for the article, he realized he had incorrectly connected our reported delays to battery problems. The primary cause of our delay has been and continues to be issues with durability and reliability of the transmission, as we have reported before.

   Hopefully Darryl’s blog entry will silence those all too keen to do the tall-poppy thing and try to create doubts about the Roadster. Every pioneer must face obstacles from the establishment, though it is sad that The New York Times was among the parties that created an extra problem for Tesla Motors. It is also sad that the whole (and increasingly invalid) belief of “batteries are unreliable” may have contributed to the error.

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October 28, 2007

A future Lucire Car to Be Seen in?

Jack Yan/5.19

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[Cross-posted] Honda’s Takeo Fukui has said that he will put the world’s ?rst hydrogen fuel-cell car on the market by next year, with a sticker price of around £50,000. The car emits water vapour as its “exhaust”.
   This is fabulous thinking: rather than hold the technology back, as all the other automakers are doing, Honda is going full steam ahead and pioneering.
   In one move, it’s overcome any slowdown in the Japanese car market and made an impact in an eco-conscious world.
   And £50,000 isn’t a lot to pay for a large sedan that’s brimming with technological advancements.
   Asked how the new Honda FCX might overcome the absence of hydrogen ?lling stations, Mr Fukui gave a great answer that shows the company has really considered its car in a historical context: ‘When the car was invented, countries weren’t full of petrol stations. When the demand is there it will happen.’
   It makes Red China’s copying of western automotive models seem outmoded and silly, considering that it had nearly a carte blanche with which to play in the 1980s and 1990s. That could have meant jumping ahead of the rest of the world without having the worries of old plant costs to contend with.
   It also shows that brands will only get you so far: major leaps ahead like this, without reference to what the establishment might think, can spell success when it taps in to the Zeitgeist. And Honda has detected that the world in the late-2000s is still going to be obsessed with global warming and climate change. It has detected that there is a rebellion against brands that do not help the planet. And it might have also considered that there will be a rationalization in the brands we deal with, so why not get ahead now?

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October 27, 2007

100 per cent New Zealand-designed

Sylvia Giles/1.16

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Yesterday, I saw this proclamation one time too many: ‘100% New Zealand Design’.
   I worked for a company once, as a design assistant, that stated on its catalogue that it was 100 per cent ‘Designed in New Zealand’. Well, not only is this a wishy-washy statement trying to detract from the stigma of off-shore manufacture; in the case of the company I was working for, the definition of New Zealand designed seemed to include ordering a complete size nest of jeans from GAP, and sending them to China to by copied directly, the only difference being the label sewn in the back.
   I’m sure the general public is not so stupid. I was heartened to hear of several enquiries to the company as to where the products were made. Don’t other people get sick of being fed this crap?

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October 13, 2007

The Tesla Roadster is ready

Jack Yan/23.29

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Here’s Lucire’s Car to be Seen in 2007, in production and available to the public. The Tesla Roadster might not sound throaty and grunty but for those of us who grew up with Knight Rider, I suspect we will not care. And the rich environmentalists and celebs who will buy one certainly won’t.

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Monica’s back, in a new shoot with Florin Radu

Jack Yan/13.17

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In the last 10 years, we have broken quite a few stories: Zac Posen had his first in-depth interview with Lucire, we take credit for the first pieces on Christina Perriam and Kathryn Wilson, and over in Romania, Monica Colombeanu (nĂŠe Gabor), who was famous in her own right, became a cover girl for the first time with us.
   As with Zac, or Soho lingerie shop Bodyhints, or many other stories, others followed the trail we blazed. Monica and then-fiancĂŠ Irinel Colombeanu wound up in a reality TV series together, and the Romanian press, God bless them, still credits us for the first time Monica appeared in a national magazine photo shoot, as I read in Click today with what little Romanian I have.
   This new shoot is not for us, but the same folks at Florin Radu’s studio were behind it. Nice to see Monica, post-baby, looking great.

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October 11, 2007

Supporting literacy: recycle your magazines

Jack Yan/22.56

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‘Magazine publishing powerhouses and reading advocates team to inspire schools to join global magazine recycling initiative for literacy’. The press release may have a long headline, but the cause is a worthy one.
   Since 2005, Lucire has supported the initiatives of MagazineLiteracy.org, aimed at promoting literacy to children initially in the US, through the use of magazines. It makes sense to me: as a child I preferred ?icking through magazines to books.
   As it is Children’s Magazine Month, among others, MagazineLiteracy.org is encouraging the recycling of magazines, not into pulp, but as things that can be passed on to needy kids in your area.
   In the press release’s words: ‘The magazines recycled by school children in their classrooms and school libraries will be given to other children and families in nearby homeless and domestic violence shelters, and to food pantries for distribution inside bags of groceries. Local organizers will create and decorate KinderHarvest bins from recycled boxes, and post stories and photographs about their magazine recycling projects online at childmagmonth.org.’
   Other organizations behind the venture include the AEP, the Magazine Publishers of America, the International Reading Association, the American Association of School Librarians, Get Caught Reading and the International Federation of the Periodical Press (FIPP). Dr Alfredo Quiùones-Hinojosa, Auras Design, Mint Advertising, Knowledge Marketing and ThinkHost join us at Lucire as additional supporters.
   If you get a chance, please do blog about this in your spaces as the press release was not the sexiest, and literacy can take a back seat in the public’s mind sometimes.   

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October 8, 2007

The little anomalies of life

Sylvia Giles/4.39

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The original ‘People’s Coffee’ lies on Constable Street. ‘People’s’, or ‘Peeps’, as it is affectionately known, is the real deal among the over-hyped climate of charity-based companies. There are certain unspoken rules by which it makes ot easy to pick a newbie. First, the wait is part of the process: you are buying a “boutique coffee”. If you complain loudly in the queue, nothing will hasten, and everyone will assume you are American. Secondly, you share a table: the sharing also runs with the ethos of free trade. A territorial approach to the concept of space is incredibly bourgeois. It makes for delightful conversation, especially as you are ?nally likely to be going there as coffee for one.
   The sitting room from within Peeps is minimal. That is because almost its entire clientèle smokes like a train outside on the communal tables. There are many oxymorons of fair trade. This morning I was sipping on my fair trade default coffee (I am incapable of being in charge of things like making my own coffee in the mornings), and I took a drag of my tailor-made cigarette. I have been “in the process” of coming to terms with the “prospect” of quitting. I really want to, but because of a case of post-degree blues, I queit fancied the artistic statement of seeming to have no respect for your own well being. Living in the moment with no thought of such sentimentalities as seeing my children grow old and have their own babies.
   Is there such a things as fair trade tobacco? Either no, because there is no trace on the internet of any “fair trade tobacco”. Or the niche does not exist because farmers get paid their fair price a very lucrative, widely traded crop.
   Yeah right.
   I toyed with the idea of refusing to smoke while enjoying my cup of coffee. The idea of giving up the coffee was not entertained for a second, so, yes, it was the smokes that had to go, no questions about it. I carefully stubbed out my cigarette and made sure I disposed it in the given council cigarette disposal unit. Ahhh, smug serenity.
   So, motivation for giving up smoking now stands at: (a) empathy for a new world order; (b) in an effort not to be a hypocrite; (c) to rectify anomalies in my life.
   Until, or course, fair trade tobacco enters the market and then I shall take it up again, offspring be damned.

PS.: My mother has just pointed out that if I changed to rollies, then little children in the third world wouldn’t need to roll them for me (or that was my interpretation).

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October 6, 2007

The new Zinio edition, downloadable now

Jack Yan/13.18

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Due to a licensing mix-up with the US edition, we went on Zinio, then went off Zinio, and it was due to the New Zealand and Australian of?ces of this digital magazine delivery service that we had things sorted out for Lucire’s issue 23.
   Last week, we uploaded issue 24, which took a tad longer than the print one to get together as it has 16 extra pages. So for those of you overseas (mostly y’all Stateside) who want your dose of Lucire extended and you think the postage for the master edition is too much (we certainly do), then you can click here.
   I know it’s not as great as holding the magazine but it does ?t in to our environmentally friendly premise.
   The release is below.

Lucire launches biggest issue; Zinio customers get 180 pp. in ‘Publisher’s Cut’
New York and Wellington, October 3 (JY&A Media) Complementing the current “biggest issue ever” of Lucire is a special edition for US customers downloading from Zinio, the digital magazine delivery service (www.zinio.com).
    In association with Zinio’s Australian outpost, Only Digital, Lucire’s 24th retail print issue contains extended coverage, notably photography by Douglas Rimington and Camille Sanson. Zinio customers see a digital replica of the print edition, complete with turning pages, but with the additional content.
    ‘Sometimes, artistically you want more pages, but you’re limited by printing budgets,’ says publisher Jack Yan. ‘By creating an extra digital edition with 16 more pages, we’ve created a “Publisher’s Cut” where we can show off more of the photography that makes Lucire great.’
    Extra photography was inserted, notably, into Sylvia Giles’s investigation into imagery and age in fashion, where some of Mr Rimington’s images now run full-page. Additionally, Mr Yan’s interview with singer–songwriter Laural Barrett, the reigning Miss New Zealand, features an additional two pages by Ms Sanson.
    Other stories, such as the 9 pp. profile on young designers, Ride with the Devil’s Caleigh Cheung on pole dancing, a brief encounter with designer Tadashi Shoji, a special on new models, and shopping in Sydney with author Tara Moss are identical to the print edition’s.
    Mr Yan says he plans to continue special editions for the US market. The special edition is available via Zinio at www.zinio.com at the same price as the print magazine, but without the postage from New Zealand.
    It is a year of internet-based “extras” from Lucire, which relaunched its reader forum and belatedly introduced a blog to its website this year.

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