Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘F1’ Category

Austin’s F1 Debut Gets A Checkered Flag

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Britain’s Lewis Hamilton celebrates his Formula 1 victory in Austin yesterday Texas style, after overcoming two-time world champion Sebastian Vittel in a sneaky pass that Vittel never could recover from. Austin’s F1 race was the first held in the United States since 2007, and the first at Austin’s new “Circuit of the Americas” track. Over 200,000 fans from around the globe attended this first-of-its-kind event in Austin, many of them giving our fair city glowing reviews. To which I say, this was only our first, and it will only get better from here. (Photo: Getty Images)

Myself, along with a lot of other Austinites, learned quite a bit about Formula 1 racing over the weekend.

Though I didn’t get out to the track myself, I watched the entire race on TV.

Of course, I also did a bit of research leading into the race, and also interacted with some experts via social media during the race, which made the experience all the more helpful.

My general impressions are wow, those are some bad *** cars! What really struck me about F1 was the “Formula,” where the tinkering with the cars is limited mainly to that, so the focus is instead on strategy and tactics by the “constructor” crews and the drivers themselves.

One tank of gas, two sets of tires, the track (in this case, the “Circuit of the Americas”), and your pit strategy.

That seems to me to equalize the competition in a way you don’t see in every sport, making the viewing experience that much more compelling.

Lewis Hamilton from the U.K. took the top of the podium, forcing Sebastian Vettel to wait until the 20th and final race of the season to determine whether or not he’ll go “back to back to back” and win three straight F1 championships.

As for Austin’s ability to host an event of this size, so far, the reviews are pretty flattering. We were expecting over 200,000 people over the long weekend, and despite the expected traffic challenges, the event went off quite smoothly.

The virgin track certainly had some gripping challenges, but that actually made for a more scintillating race, and certainly didn’t keep the drivers from doing some aggressive passing. And the weather was simply perfect.

To my mind, it really starts to cement Austin’s reputation as an “international” city, and I’m looking forward to our hosting future races.

As for me personally, it’s official: I’m a converted F1 fan, and will be making it even more official by adding a new section to MyESPN home page!

Written by turbotodd

November 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm

The World’s Last Twinkie

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I awakened today to some disturbing news on the consumer packaged goods front: Hostess, longtime maker of Ding Dongs, Twinkies, and Wonder Bread — all three of which provided me sustenance through much of my mispent youth — is going out of business.

In a Wall Street Journal

Irving, Texas-based Twinkie maker Hostess looks to be going out of business after a recent and extended labor dispute. Texans everywhere are now crying out in wonderment at what possible replacements they’ll have to fry at their annual Texas State Fair. First Big Tex burns, and now no more Twinkies…it’s too much for most Texans to comprehend.

story earlier today, it was reported that the “maker of iconic treats such as Twinkies” and other products is shuttering its plants and will “seek to liquidate the 82-year-old business.”

The story goes on to report that a work stoppage that began on November 9th affected about two-thirds of Hostess’s 36 plants, and made it “impossible” for the Irving, Texas company to continue producing baked goods.

It’s hard to imagine a world without Twinkies.  Or Ding Dongs, for that matter.  What are we Texans going to fry at the Texas State Fair, if not Twinkies???

Of course, what woke me up today was the endless barrage of helicopters.  The F1 Grand Prix race weekend has arrived in Austin, and some 200,000 race fans are expected to make a pit stop here to check out the race.

This is the first Grand Prix to be held in the U.S. in some five years, and though an F1 may not seem very Austinish, I say bring it on.

It’s expected to have an economic impact of some $220 million, and hey, it helped bring Aerosmith and Cheap Trick to town for a concert tonight, so it can’t be all bad!

I just hope folks using the Apple Maps apps are able to find their way out to the track, because Google’s new Map App for Apple devices is still in test mode.

I never thought I’d write that we may be finding ourselves not in a great browser battle, but rather, the Great Mobile Map Wars of 2012.

Kind of has a nice ring to it, eh?

Let’s reflect on the tick tock: Apple released the new iOS 6, in which it replaced the Google Maps app that was preinstalled with its own mapping software.

People complained they couldn’t get where they were going with the new Apple map app. Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was sorry, then fired his software lead, Scott Forstall, after he refused to say he was sorry.

And now we wait.

Both for the new Google map app (which is said to have turn by turn directions), and the improved Apple map app.

Me, I think I’ll stop by the truck stop on the way out to the F1 track this weekend and just pick myself up an atlas.

I just hope it will provide good enough directions to lead me to the world’s last Twinkie.

Written by turbotodd

November 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm

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