Beware of the Four-Square rip off

Filed under:

If you or somebody you know is looking into purchasing a new vehicle, this is a must read. We know new and used car salesmen can be some pretty slick dudes, but many of us step on the lot with a great deal of emotion and usually little preparedness. Even us car nuts may come in knowing more than the next guy, but a great deal of knowledge about the product you're about to buy may still not prevent you being taken for a ride.

Some dealers use a selling system called the "Four-Square" to play psychological warfare with your wallet. They work this confusing system several times per day, while you purchase a new car every few years. Obviously, they're the wolf and you're the sheep.

The "Four-Square" is a sheet of paper with boxes for trade-in, vehicle price, down payment, and monthly payment. It looks very simple, but for most people, it's like solving Rubik's Cube. Former used car salesman Alan Stone gave The Consumerist some tips on how to tackle the Four-Square, and we've got some of our own ideas, too. Hit the jump to see what a Four-Square looks like, and how you can beat the dealers at their own game.

[Source: The Consumerist]

Continue reading Beware of the Four-Square rip off

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: World's worst theft deterrent

Filed under: , , ,


Click the image above to see the amazing arm-breaker anti-theft device

Car theft is a big problem in the United States and around the world. It's expensive for insurance companies and taxpayers alike, and thieves always seem to be one step ahead of the law. It would be great if you could install an anti-theft system that makes your steering wheel shake to the point where it will break bones whenever someone tries to steer it, but alas this video is showing a faulty steering rack system in action. It may make for a bad anti-theft system, but it makes an entertaining video. Check out the entire video after the jump.

[Source: metacafe via Carscoop]

Continue reading VIDEO: World's worst theft deterrent

 

[via] Autoblog

Mercedes expects diesels to account for 10-percent of US market

Filed under:



Looks like Mercedes-Benz is expecting diesels to make a huge comeback in the United States over the next few years. M-B is apparently projecting that diesels will account for a whopping 10 percent of U.S. sales by 2010, up from just 3 percent last year. With the new BLUETEC-nology helping the German automakers meet stricter Bin 5 clean air standards, and gas prices continuing to hover near the $3/gallon level, it's likely diesels will become more attractive to buyers, especially in the light- and heavy-duty truck segment where the mileage and torque gains seem huge compared to gas-engined options.

New low-sulfur diesel fuel is finally becoming more widely available in States too, so look for diesels to start popping up everywhere soon. Mercedes in particular has shown off the possibilities of diesel in its E320 and will start selling diesels this fall starting in the ML320 and then the GL320 and probably the R320, as well. And Mercedes isn't the only company expecting big diesel gains. J.D. Power's Global Outlook for Diesel predicts North American diesel sales to account for 15 percent of new vehicle sales by 2015.

[Source: Automotive News, sub req]

 

[via] Autoblog

Mazda2 to spawn all-road Ford Fiesta in Europe

Filed under: , , , ,



Auto Express is reporting that Ford plans to take the new Mazda2-derived Ford Fiesta into uncharted waters. They are apparently going to produce a baby ute off the platform, somewhat like the Suzuki SX-4. Ford already announced in Paris that it would be producing the Focus 4x4, which would mean practically the entire Euro lineup would have a CUV or "offroad" version.

Based on the same B2 platform that underpins the new Mazda 2, the new Fiesta is intended to be a true global car, and will likely see sales in the U.S. eventually. High fuel prices, registration fees, environmental concerns and the like have led the shift towards smaller vehicles, but adding the practicality and versatility of these mini CUVs offers buyers a choice.

Expect 1.3, 1.6 and 1.8-litre Duratec SCi direct injection gas engines, as well as 1.4 and 1.6 TDCi diesels. Traction and stability control and lots of airbags should be offered, as well. Look for the new Fiesta SUV some time in 2009. Follow the Read link for a rear shot.

[Source: Auto Express]

 

[via] Autoblog

New York Preview: BMW X6 sketches surface

Filed under: , , ,

It's been known for a couple of years that BMW is working on another lower-roof, more coupe-like crossover derived from the X5 platform. BMW will be unveiling something on Wednesday at the New York Auto show, but it hasn't publicly said what that vehicle will be. Some sketches have popped up elsewhere on the interweb that are purported to be an X6 concept previewing the production version expected in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept is expected to be powered by the new twin turbo inline-six cylinder from the 335i.

[Source: CarScoop]

 

[via] Autoblog

New York Preview: Mercedes-Benz reveals new 2008 C-Class for U.S.

Filed under: , ,


click above image for 39 high-res pics of the US-spec 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Merecedes-Benz just dumped a whole lot of details about the new US-spec C-Class in our laps, including data and pics. You can read all of the stats on the next page, but the important bits are right here. There will be three models initially (all 4-door sedans), including the C300, C300 4Matic, and C350. Each has a V6 and will be the same shape and size, but the differences are revealed in their names.

The C300 and C300 4Matic will sport a 3.0 liter V6 with 228 hp @ 6,000, and 221 lb.-ft. from 2,700 - 5,000 rpm. The C300 is rear drive while the 4Matic adds M-B's unique all-wheel-drive system. Those will be available with your choice of 6-speed stick or 7-speed auto trannies. The C350 adds .5 liters of displacement and power goes up to 268 hp @ 6,000 and 258 lb.-ft. available between 2,400 - 5,000 rpm. This one comes with a 7-speed automatic only. Although this 4th generation of Cs is larger than its forebearers, weight is about the same as the previous gen.

There will also be C-Class Sport models (shown above) that feature AMG-inspired styling, including the attractive grille-mounted three-point star badge. The regular models will feature a more traditional grille like their euro counterparts. Sport models will also receive additional AMG cladding, twin-spoke 17-inch wheels and ride height lowered on a sport-tuned suspension.

Wagons, coupes and diesels are also rumored to be in the pipeline, but for New York and the U.S. market, it's just these three sedans for now. Not that there's anything wrong with that. One other number we haven't seen yet is price. We'll have lots of live shots from New York as soon as the press conference ends.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]

Continue reading New York Preview: Mercedes-Benz reveals new 2008 C-Class for U.S.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments


BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

[via] Autoblog

New York Preview: New images of the Callaway C16 Cabrio

Filed under: ,


Click image for high-res photo gallery

Reeves Callaway will be in New York this week to officially unveil the convertible version of his latest monster Corvette creation, the C16. Unveiled in LA back in November, the C16 packs a mighty wallop underhood thanks to its blown LS2 V8, which pumps out 616 horsepower and 582 lb-ft of torque. Buyers who deem that powerplant too extreme can select a 560-horse "base" engine package instead. Tires may weep at the sight of the new Callaway, but we find smiles on our faces (the words "Callaway Corvette" have done this to us since our teenage years in the '80s). According to the automaker, 0-60 is just 3.5 seconds away, and the C16 Cabrio is apparently an 11-second quarter-mile car, to boot. Nasty.

Like its coupe brother, the Cabrio sports a distinctive familial visage with clear ties to past Callaway products. Around back, the Corvette's posterior has been replaced by a Callaway unit that incorporates single round taillamps that immediately call to mind Aston Martin's DB7 Zagato Roadster. Pricing for the C16 Cabrio starts at $128,765, and existing C6 Corvette owners can also choose from a variety of C16 upgrades to their cars as well. We'll have in-person impressions of the ragtop, as well as a chat with Reeves Callaway, from New York later this week.

[Source: Callaway Cars via Fast-Autos.net]

 

[via] Autoblog

HP intros Maybach laptop with 64GB solid-state HD

Filed under: , , ,



We have no idea why branding a laptop computer with your logo is so attractive to high-end automakers these days, but apparently you're not a player until you've got one. First there was the Ferrari-Acer partnership, then ASUS and Lamborghini got together, and now we have Hewlett Packard, or HP as the kids call it these days, teaming up with Maybach, DaimlerChrysler's brand of cars for the upper crust of humanity.

Not much is known about the HP/Maybach laptop except that it features the requisite leather-covered case (is that snake skin?) with the Maybach logo front and center, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a 64GB solid state hard drive. The solid-state drive is a wicked bit of tech, as it features no moving parts like current hard drives, which makes it extremely resistant to shock. Solid-state drives also consume less power and access data much faster than normal hard drives. Additional specs and pricing are not known yet, but expect the HP/Maybach laptop to cost at least $4,000 considering its exotic hard drive technology.

[Source: tech2.ru via Engadget]

 

[via] Autoblog

eBay Find of the Day: GoldenPalace.com Popemobile

Filed under: , , ,



It's ba-ack. The VW Golf that drew 8.5 million hits the first time it appeared on eBay is back on the block. That was almost two years ago in May of 2005, believe it or not. In case you don't remember, this 1999 Volkswagen Golf was the personal conveyance of then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, until shortly before his ascendance to Popehood. The Cardinal sold the car and it ended up in the hands of one Benjamin Halbe, who had no idea who the former owner was, but hit the jackpot when Ratzinger became Pope. The 6-year-old grey car sold for almost €190,000 when press-hungry GoldenPalace.com decided they had to have it. Well, apparently the novelty has worn off and it's time to shed the vehicle from their collection of oddities.

GoldenPalace.com has put the VeeDub up for sale and promises that the proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity Great Britain. They also say that the car has not been driven since it was bought in 2005, so mileage should still be around 75,000 KM. In case the lucky bidder decides to drive the car, they should know that it has been started and features a 5-speed manual transmission, AC, PW, PL, tilt steering, cassette stereo, alloys, ABS, dual front airbags, side airbags, safety belt pretensioners, and presumably, God as your co-pilot. With more than eight days left, the bidding is already over $55,000.

[Source: eBay via German Car Scene]

 

[via] Autoblog

Nissan recalls over 1 million for fuel tank fix

Filed under: ,


Narrowly missing setting a new reocrd for the largest recall in the company's history, Nissan is recalling 1.01 MIL March (aka Micra) and Cube models. That figure is just 20,000 vehicles shy of the 1.03 MIL car recall they issued in 2003. The current recall is to fix faulty fuel tanks that may leak or crack. According to the just-auto report, UK-built Nissan Micras are not effected, only Japanese built samples.

Nissan joins Honda in announcing a million-plus-vehicle recall in just the past month. The staggering volume of the recalls is due to the fact that many manufacturers are sharing as many components across their lineup as possible to reduce costs through economies of scale. Unfortunately, that means when there is an issue with one of those parts, a whole lot of them need to be fixed. While only 59 complaints have been filed, they were enough to warrant the recall. The cars involved were built between 1991 and 2000, and only about 600,000 are still believed to be on the road. The bulk of those are in Japan, but some are still in use in Singapore and Brunei, according to a Nissan spokesperson.

[Source: just-auto]

 

[via] Autoblog

New York Preview: 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX sedan

Filed under: , ,


Click image for seven new shots of the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX

We're still doing our best to give the new 2008 Subaru Impreza a fighting chance in the realm of public opinion after an unflattering session with Motor Trend's photographer set it off on the wrong foot. Today we bring you the first shots of the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX sedan, which again moves the approval meter a bit more to the positive side. The front end is virtually the same as the five-door hatchback's with an obscenely large intake and matte grille flanked by bits of chrome. The sedan, however, appears more balanced than the five-door hatchback without all of that bulk over the rear wheels. That said, even these new images of the five-door hatch make the car look much better than those first pics, particularly the interior that's shown in a handsome two tone with silver accents.

It's no doubt been a rocky debut for the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX, but the real test will be how well it sells compared to the old model. As such, pricing, which hasn't yet been announced, will be just as if not more important than the new Impreza's styling.

Thanks for the tip, Patrick!

[Source: Autoweek]

 

[via] Autoblog

Achtung! GM will build Saabs outside Sweden next year

Filed under: , ,



The Saab faithful have seen their beloved brand play host to both a rebadged Subaru Impreza in the 9-2x and GMT 360 SUV in the 9-7x in recent years. Those two chapters in Saab history came after many of the brand's aficionados said it had lost its original identity under GM's stewardship. Today we have news that will surely drive some of the remaining Saab diehards right over the edge.

Starting in 2008, we will see Saab automobile production (no models specified yet) begin in Germany alongside the next-gen Opel Vectra (if that name is retained), with which they'll share architecture. This is part of GM Europe's master plan to globally integrate vehicle production. The practice is already visible in places like Delaware, where the Opel GT is built alongside its English-speaking clones, the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice, and as the General continues the shift to more truly global platforms, we'll probably see more moves like this happen along they way.

[Source: Just-Auto -- sub req'd]

 

[via] Autoblog

BMW may bring Z8 successor to Shanghai auto show

Filed under: , , ,



Automotive News is reporting that BMW will be unveiling a concept version of the successor to its Z8 sports car at the Shanghai motor show next month.The new Z9 (Z10 seems to fit current naming practices better, but we'll stick with Z9 here because it's what Auto News is reporting) will likely one-up its predecessor with a folding hardtop and possibly a coupe version, as well. The Z9 is likely to get a version of the 500-hp, 5.0-liter V10 from the M5/M6.

The new top-of-the-line sports car will go head-to-head with the Mercedes SL and Audi R8, among others, when it debuts sometime in 2009 or 2010. BMW hopes to find as many as 15,000 buyers a year for the new sports car even though it only managed to move 5,702 Z8s during the whole run from 2000 to 2003. There are plenty of pics of an SLR-like gullwing Z9 concept that has a 6-series butt and a long tapered nose, but we are praying for something better. We hope it can match the beauty of the neo-507 Z8 pictured above when it debuts.

[Source: Automotive News, sub req]

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: Sentra SE-R hot laps with Tommy Constantine

Filed under: , ,



During last week's ride and drive of Nissan's new Sentra SE-R, we were assigned instructors to ensure we didn't pull a Griffin and understeer one of their new rigs into a wall. There were several instructors from the local school on hand to give us a familiarization lap around Homestead, but there was one driver in particular that we wanted to catch a ride with.

Tommy Constantine campaigns a Nissan 350Z GT in the Grand Am Cup and in addition to being sponsored by the automaker, gets financial backing and, ummm, encouragement from Playboy. So much so that according to one of the PR people, it's a rare occasion that he doesn't come with two or three Bunnies in tow. Unfortunately, our time at the track was one of those rare occasions.

Regardless, we were able to grab a helmet when the rest of the journos were stuffing their faces with free grub and ride shotgun as Constantine flogged the SE-R within inches of its life. Just like many of the automotive epiphanies we've had over the years, this was yet another example why we'll stick to writing about cars and guys like Tommy gets to race them. Humbling? Yes. But we know where we fit in.

Check the video after the jump.

Continue reading VIDEO: Sentra SE-R hot laps with Tommy Constantine

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments


BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

[via] Autoblog

Hyundai brings down the hammer on 50 dealers

Filed under: ,

Shape up or ship out seems to be the message that Hyundai is sending to 50 of its worst performing dealers. Automotive News is reporting that Hyundai Motor America COO Steve Wilhite sent a "strongly worded" letter to 50 'chronic underachievers.' Poor sales and customer service is at the heart of Wilhite's threats: "We're giving them six months to correct the mistakes. If they can, we're thrilled to have them. If they can't, we want them to turn in their franchises."

As Hyundai is moving towards a reputation that nearly equals that of the Japanese automakers, it is important that its dealer network match the company's commitment to delivering top-notch vehicles. Wilhite hopes the dealers will improve and stay on board, but if they don't, they will be forced out. Sort of. The dealers can still take their cases to the motor vehicle board in their state or even appeal to out-of-state courts before losing their franchise rights. Another 144 problem areas were identified by Wilhite as areas of concern, but no similar threats to drop these dealers were issued.

With products like the new Genesis and Veracruz showing Hyundai's desire to move upmarket, this is an important issue to iron out over the next couple of years. Good product will get people into the dealership, but good customer service will sell the marque and guarantee repeat customers and higher resale values.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

 

[via] Autoblog

Watch out, Lexus: Hyundai considering premium brand

Filed under: ,

Hyundai's product line-up has been both steadily improving and moving up-market, first with the launch of the Veracruz luxury SUV and now with the announcement of the upcoming Genesis RWD V8 luxury sedan. The emergence of the premium Hyundais has lead to industry speculation that the burgeoning Korean carmaker could be considering the launch of a separate premium brand to compete with its Japanese rivals.

Although they've far from confirmed any such decision, Hyundai execs have suggested it could be in the cards. Product planning VP John Krafcik was quoted as saying, "We haven't decided that as of yet. Genesis will be sold through our Hyundai dealers as a Hyundai, but we're still in the midst of discussions as to whether or not we should have an alternative distribution channel with a new name. It's still a possibility."

Like Toyota did with Lexus, Nissan with Infiniti and Honda with Acura, a premium marque from Hyundai would give the Korean carmaker the prestige and justification for the higher prices that inevitably come with producing up-market products. While Japan remains on alert from nuclear weapons from North Korea, the real bomb seems to be coming in automotive form from South Korea.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

[via] Autoblog

AutoblogGreen for 04.02.07

Filed under: ,



Yeah, we'll put Jennifer Aniston and Fidel Castro on the same blog. Who's gonna stop us? We'll even throw in a crazy-fast all-electric motorcycle and dozens of other green car news from the weekend, including our second podcast, which features some behind-the-scenes talk from GM on their battery tech.

Keep an eye on AutoblogGreen today for news and interviews from the Alternative Fuels and Vehicles convention in California (coverage continues through the week). You want more pictures of the Connaught Type D and that crazy-looking Naro thing? Coming soon, along with interviews with the people behind these vehicles, and much more.

 

[via] Autoblog

Safety group sues NHTSA in Explorer debacle

Filed under: , , , ,

There's still fallout landing from the Firestone-tire-crashing-Explorer episode. Maryland-based Quality Control Systems Corporation has sued NHTSA in an attempt to gain access to any reports Ford made to the agency regarding injuries and deaths from tire-related incidents. This latest action, under the Freedom Of Information Act, has been brought on by NHTSA's refusal to share any data it's collected about Explorer crashes.

NHTSA has been waffling about the level of detail it will release. A federal judge had ordered the agency to revamp a proposed rule allowing a high level of secrecy. The order was appealed by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, we're assuming in the interest of self preservation, and NHTSA is sitting on its hands until that appeal is resolved. If something was amiss with the tires, recommended inflation pressure, or just plain bad driving, the public deserves transparency. NHTSA contends that deciding what level of information to release on a case-by-case basis would be overwhelming - as well as possibly revealing sensitive corporate information. A blanket policy favoring informing the public, rather than protecting companies that make faulty products would be a step in the right direction. Instead, we're going to still be in the dark while time is wasted clogging up the legal system and paying lawyers to duke it out. Now, that's what we call progress.

[Source: Detriot Free Press]

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: Shelby GT-H Convertible unveiling & auction

Filed under: , , ,



We described the scene to you earlier, and now you can see everything unfold as it happened. We are, of course, talking about the big reveal of the new Shelby GT-H Convertible down at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach, along with the immediate sale of the rights to car #001. It's all here, from the covered car being driven onstage, to the extra salesmanship by Ford's Mark Fields, to the final gavel $250,000 later as the car went to collector Ron Pratte of Chandler, AZ. If you missed the original telecast and forgot to set your DVR, no worries -- you can watch it all go down after the jump.

[Source: SPEED TV]

Continue reading VIDEO: Shelby GT-H Convertible unveiling & auction

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: First Foose Coupe customer car sells for $300,000

Filed under: ,



Well, we've been covering the story of Chip Foose's Foose Coupe since before SEMA, and it all finally culminated over the weekend at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach, where the first customer car brought $300,000 when the gavel fell. That would ultimately be the top sale recorded over the weekend. The winning bidder gets to work directly with Foose to pick out the color schemes, wheel design, and in this particular case, even the motor -- either a Ford GT unit or the 392 HEMI crate engine as seen in the green prototype. Only 50 cars will be built, and the top bidder actually scored a little bit of a deal. You see, each Foose Coupe has a base price of $295,000 anyway, so the extra one-on-one personalization experience with Chip only added an additional $5,000 to the price for the first-ever customer car. Expectations were surely higher, so even though this was the top seller, dollarwise, the number it brought must have been a disappointment. You can watch the auction itself after the jump.

[Source: SPEED TV]

Continue reading VIDEO: First Foose Coupe customer car sells for $300,000

 

[via] Autoblog

Ford GT owners get shafted

Filed under: , ,



Ah, the joys of owning an exotic. This time it's an issue with the half-shafts on the Ford GT separating and causing a loss of power. Fortunately, for both Ford and GT owners, this has only occurred on four vehicles and isn't as widespread as the 60 some incidents of broken shaft bolts that Ford issued a TSB on last year.

According to SVT's chief engineer, Jamal Hameedi, the problem has only occurred during acceleration and not while traveling at a constant speed. It seems that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) isn't too concerned about the matter, as they haven't decided to conduct an investigation.

[Source: Automotive News (Sub. Req.)]

 

[via] Autoblog

Enter the rumor mill: is Lexus working on a GS-F?

Filed under: ,

Reports are beginning to circulate the web that Lexus is working on a high-performance version of the mid-level GS sedan to go up against German rivals in competing for the glory and the cash.

The performance GS would be the next candidate to receive the F treatment, after Lexus took the wraps off the V8-powered IS-F sports sedan at the Detroit show in January. Presumably named the GS-F, Lexus would shoehorn in a version of the V10 engine, detuned to around 450 horsepower, from the LF-A supercar the company is currently working on.

With the GS-F, Toyota would be aiming straight for the BMW M5. That's a mighty ambitious task, especially considering the view that Lexus missed the mark with the IS-F. Could they get it right in the big leagues?

[Source: The Hollywood Extra]

 

[via] Autoblog

Pair of workers get caught in middle of Toyota vs. UAW

Filed under: , ,

Two former hourly Toyota employees are denying that they leaked a potentially embarrassing memo pertaining to wages at Toyota's US plants. The document, which came from Seiichi Sudo, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc, states that wages are growing faster than Toyota's US profits.

The former Georgetown plant workers, Noel Riddell and Manuel Eade, were fired on February 8 after being accused of circulating the memo. The two workers were suspected, in part because they had shown the memo to management, and both admit to being union supporters. The workers were asked to resign from Toyota, but both refused, instead opting for a peer review of their case. They say that their peers found them to be innocent, but management overruled and fired them anyway. The memo is now being used as a rallying cry for the UAW, which has been hurt by years of declining membership. The memo, which was dated 2006, calls for $300 million in wage cuts in fiscal year 2011, and UAW officials (and most likely some of Toyota's hourly workers) think that means there will be more temporary workers in Toyota's plants, and less full-time hourly workers making $25 per hour.

The UAW has long wanted to unionize non-domestic plants, but to this point there has been little luck. We don't know if this memo will help unionize any Toyota plants, but it will be interesting to see if Toyota continues to expand plants in the US if a worker's union comes as part of the package.

[Source: Automotive News (Sub. Req'd)]

 

[via] Autoblog

AMG motorsport division going public

Filed under: , , ,

When Mercedes-Benz bought out controlling interest in AMG in 1991, its founder Hans-Werner Aufrecht was allowed to set up a separate enterprise to continue its motor racing activities in cooperation with Mercedes-Benz. So the firm bearing his initials HWA was born, and they continue to field Mercedes AMG cars in the popular DTM touring car series and producing the Mercedes Formula 3 engine for purchase by private teams.

Aufrecht has remained at the helm of the company ever since, but pushing 68 as he is, HWA is looking towards the future. In order to raise funds to secure the company's continued viability, HWA is floating five million shares and searching for a successor to Aufrecht, having invited former Mercedes CEO Jurgen Hubbert to chair their board. All the common enthusiast sees is Mercedes taking checkered flags - the news gives us a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Mercedes sphere and their racing activities.

[Source: GrandPrix.com]

 

[via] Autoblog

Survey Says: Garages lit with LED seem safer

Filed under: , ,

It's a scene we've seen hundreds of times in movies - predators emerging from the shadows in a dimly lit parking garage. It used to be that you could look for the cigarrette ember so you could meet up with Deep Throat, but Raleigh, North Carolina has beat back the shadows as it became the first LED City. Parking garages in Raleigh have seen their standing with the public improve since LED lighting systems replaced the old high pressure sodium lighting. The whiter, brighter illumination led to a 76 percent increase in "very safe" replies to a survey on how the security of the garage was perceived. Whether the change has precipitated an actual drop in parking garage crime, or if it was even a problem in Raleigh to begin with, we can't say; but changing perception's not a bad thing, either. It's another feather in the cap of LED lighting technology, along with reducing energy consumption and the aforementioned lighting quality.

[Source: CREE via engadget]

 

[via] Autoblog

Why the new AppleTV should be in your car

Filed under: ,


When Apple's low-cost Mac Mini computer debuted, it wasn't long before industrious hackers took advantage of its small form factor to create some incredible in-car installs. There have always been some major limitations, however, to installing a Mac Mini in your dash, the most significant being how to interact with it. Driving around with a keyboard and mouse in your lap isn't very ergonomic. Enter the new AppleTV, a device that despite having only been on the market for a week or so has become the most hacked Apple device ever. It has not, however, been installed in a car yet. Here's why it should be.

The AppleTV is a device that's designed to be used in conjunction with a Mac or PC running iTunes, which, let's face it, most computers do. It connects to your desktop via an 802.11 wireless connection and syncs video and music purchased from the iTunes Store onto its own 40GB hard drive. In essence, it acts much like a screenless Video iPod that syncs wirelessly with your computer. Instead of connecting it to an HDTV as it was designed, one could easily envision hacking the video input of a car's in-dash screen to accept the video output of an AppleTV. If successful, you could theoretically pull into your garage and wirelessly sync the video and music on your desktop computer to your car (assuming the range of your wireless network reaches the garage). Once on the road, all of the AppleTV's functions are controlled via a tiny Apple Remote, so there's no need for a keyboard, mouse or other exotic input device.

Continue reading Why the new AppleTV should be in your car

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments


BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

[via] Autoblog