News blogging may be the next big hobby. You might think of it as smart mobs weaving a tapestry of current events that can be searched for patterns. Click on images to enlarge
This 40 foot superboat appeared under our hotel window late last night in Huntersville, NC. The twin canopies and the incredible sweep of the white hull made me think for a moment that a space shuttle had touched down in the hotel parking lot. I had seen Donzi and Cigarette racing boats years ago, but they were midgets compared to this futuristic racing catamaran.
The parking lot was shrouded in fog, but mercury vapor lights provided just enough illumination to give me hope that I could capture this scene and do it justice. After taking a few shots, I noticed that there was a hole in the rear deck where I would have expected to see a second air intake. I zoomed in and captured what seemed to be a damaged area, which has been highlighted for better visibility.
Perhaps J.D. Byrider No.8 might be more than just a design triumph. I decided to dig further.
I logged on the internet and found that J.D.Byrider No.8 had been competing in the World Championship Offshore Superseries at Key West, with Owner Tony Marcantonio driving and with Kirk Dunteman on the throttles.
Sometime during the event, they flipped the catamaran, as you can see
here. I have no information on the condition of the crew, but one of
the airscoops must have been torn off by the impact. It must have just
happened because you can still see exhaust from the engines.
You can see other photos of the race here with a free registration. Click on Photo Gallery.
JD Byrider is a franchised-based business that sells used cars to
lower income buyers with poor credit histories or no credit. It appears
to be very profitable operation. This Skater-built catamaran cost
$750,000 when new.
The boat is one of only seven in its class in the United States. For
those of you who are interested in speed, power, etc. here are the
The boat is 11 feet wide, 40 feet long, and weighs 10,000 pounds.
Each of its twin inboard engines produces 770 horsepower, which
together are capable of propelling the boat at 130 to 135 mph depending
on the propellor chosen.
Tony Marcantonio of Louisville also owns the J.D. Byrider used car
sales agencies in Dover and St Clairsville. Byrider uses a
line-of-business application to manage its franchisees so they can
concentrate on selling cars and growing their business.
In an interesting twist of fate, Byrider had spent millions of
dollars and four years developing an application on Sun Solaris with no joy.
(pdf file) They made the decision to switch their development
environment to Intel-based servers using Microsoft development and
application software and application problems were reduced by 93
percent. Obviously, things are working out fairly well.
It took less than two hours from the time I first spotted the
superboat to find out everything I wanted to know about it., but I
waited until today to write the post in order to preserve domestic
tranquility. Gretchen is quite patient with me, but blogging all night
in a hotel room is not the way to win points with a sleeping spouse.
The point I would like to make, if possible, is that an reasonably
curious individual with an internet connection and a digital camera can
capture an event and make it an integral part of the fabric of our
collective history without a lot of effort. The total effect of such
data captures is mind-boggling.
All one has to do is to use the right search term in a search engine
like Google and all of the events connected to that term appear. As
news blogging becomes a more frequent event, it will change research
and newsgathering in ways we can’t anticipate.
One last point: I was prepared to get up early and interview the
people accompanying the superboat, but the driver and his cargo drove
off in the early hours of dawn. They were probably under orders to get
the boat back home so it could be repaired.