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Comment Re:Top 10 cars sold and their mileage (Score 1) 1141

The Jetta is just the sedan version of the Golf, same chassis, same engine, doors, etc. They've forked a bit more since 2006, but still share a lot of parts. The Fiesta is also just a rebadged Mazda demio (world car of the year 2008), which will be sold in north America starting with model year 2011 as the mazda2. The car I'd really like to see here though is the vw polo (world car of the year 2009) blue motion. I'd pick one up in a second if they were available.

Comment Re:Awful dynamic range (Score 1) 1141

I agree. 70 mpg is impressive. However, this highlights the distortion associated with quoting range (mpg, km/l) rather than the inverse, consumption (l/100km, g/100mi). Most people have a fixed distance requirement (e.g. to work and back, grocery store and back), so getting 70 mpg doesn't mean you're going to drive twice as far if you only got 35 mpg.

Converting to l/100km, 70mpg = 3.36l/100km, and 35mpg = 6.72l/100km, a difference of 3.36l/100km. On the other end, going from 6.72l/100km to 10.08l/100km is 23.3mpg. So while a 35mpg improvement from 35 to 70 would save you 3.36l over the trip, an 11.7mpg improvement from 23.3 to 35 would save you the same 3.36l. Going from 70mpg to 140mpg saves you just half that, 1.68l. Someone going from 15mpg to just 20mpg saves 3.92l over that trip!

I recently switched from a 30mpg Honda Accord to a 45mpg VW Golf TDI, but if I took the next step to a 60mpg hybrid, I'd only be saving half the amount in fuel (less actually, since diesel is about 5-10% cheaper where I am at the moment). While it's great to highlight the likes of the Prius, Civic Hybrid, etc., you really need to focus on the elephants in the room, those in the under 25mpg range that could easily switch to something close to 35mpg without having to pay the hybrid/electric/diesel premium.

If You Don't Want Your Car Stolen, Make It Pink 390

pickens writes "A study in the Netherlands illustrates car thieves' preferences. From 2004-2008, the most commonly colored vehicle stolen was black. This may be because black vehicles look more luxurious. Following close behind black were gray/silver automobiles. Of the 109 pink cars in the study, not one was stolen. A bright and uncommon color, like pink, may be as effective deterrent as an expensive security system. Ben Vollaard, who conducted the research, wrote, 'If the aversion to driving a car in an offbeat color is not too high – or if someone actually enjoys it – then buying deterrence through an uncommon car color may be at least as good a deal as buying deterrence through an expensive car security device.'"

Comment Re:Cores do not equal power (Score 5, Insightful) 432

If you think you can get by just fine on just a quad-core, then you're not the target market. Simple as that. I get by just fine on my entry level MacMini. There won't be a huge volume of sales of the 12 core systems, but there exists a market (however relatively small) that needs every bit of computing power they can get. They're also the ones willing to invest in the software architechture to get the most out of the hardware.

Comment Re:So that makes me.. (Score 1) 780

I'm right there with you, except I actually own one. I'm a 28 y/o with a Master's in Electrical Engineering and a decent job, which makes me a wealthy, well-educated, power-hungry, over-achieving, sophisticated, almost 30 year old young man interested in business, finance, videogames, computers, electronics, science and the internet who uses Facebook... Basically, wait until those independent geeks grow up a little bit and can afford some nice toys. It's a luxury appliance. Sure, it has some limitations, but for what it's meant for, it does it incredibly well. Your average kid in the basement doesn't need one, nor can they justify the cost. Maybe they'll pounce on a slate/eeePad/gPad if they come out a few hundred bucks cheaper later this year/decade/century. Those of us that don't mind paying the early adopter tax are happily enjoying ours.

Scientist Infects Self With Computer Virus 393

superapecommando writes "A British scientist claims to have become the first human to be infected by a computer virus, in an experiment he says has important implications for the future of implantable technology. Dr Mark Gasson from the University of Reading infected a computer chip with the virus, then implanted it in his hand and transmitted the virus to a PC to prove that malware can move between human and computer."

Asus Budget Ultraportable Notebook Sold Sans OS 263

EconolineCrush writes "Tired of paying the Windows tax on notebooks? Asus's Eee PC 1201T budget ultraportable comes without a traditional operating system and sells for only $380. The 12-inch system has promising specifications, sporting an Athlon Neo processor, Radeon HD 3200 graphics, Bluetooth, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. It weighs just 3.2lbs with a 6-cell battery and can even handle light gaming duties. However, battery life in Ubuntu is considerably shorter than it is under Windows. Are there any better options for would-be laptop Linux users?"

Japanese Turning To "Therapeutic Ringtones" 75

indiavision writes "A host of young Japanese are drawn to the allure of 'therapeutic ringtones' — a genre of melodies that promises to ease a range of day-to-day gripes, from chronic insomnia to a rotten hangover. Developed by Matsumi Suzuki, the head of the Japan Ringing Tone Laboratory, an eight-year-old subsidiary of the Japan Acoustic Laboratory, the tones are a hit with housewives as well as teenagers."

Netflix Extends "Watch Instantly" To Mac Users 205

CNet is reporting that Netflix has opened up its "Watch Instantly" feature to Mac users (here is Netflix's blog entry). They accomplished this by using Microsoft's Silverlight technology on both platforms, abandoning the Windows Media Player solution that had been employed in the first, Windows-only, version. Silverlight's DRM capabilities meet Netflix's needs, apparently. Netflix warns that this is beta software. Mac users can opt in here, then watch instantly with Safari or Firefox 2+, with the Silverlight plugin in place. Movie selection is somewhat limited.

Comment How does this even work? (Score 1) 490

Ok, forget the legal aspects of this being an obvious rip-off of the Wiimote. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how anyone would use the motion function on this thing when the screen is ON what you are moving. I mean seriously, it would be like having to pick up your laptop up off your desk and lift it up and to the left if you wanted to move your mouse to the file menu. Not only is your pointer moving on the screen, but your whole point of reference is also moving. It's easy to focus on a tv or computer screen because it is STATIONARY. Say you have to tilt it forward to move the pointer up. Well, now your screen is tilted away from you and you can't see it. I mean, when they come up with these cheap knock-off toys, do they just go straight from some marketing guys head straight into production? Surely someone out there would at least try to use it once and realize how stupid this is. I guess the idea is, is that it doesn't actually have to be functional to sell, it just has to look like a Wiimote, yeah, make it white with a d-pad on it and you can hold it in your hand. Brilliant.

How the iPod Touch Works 208

starexplorer2001 writes "The iPod Touch isn't in stores yet, but HowStuffWorks has a nice summary of how the 'touch' part of the iPod Touch works. Very similar to how the iPhone works, without those pesky rebates! From the article: 'The iPod touch also has a few other features that iPod enthusiasts had hoped to see on standard iPod models. Some users hoped for a wirelessly enabled iPod so they could synch their music or share files with friends over a Bluetooth or WiFi connection. The iPod touch is the first iPod to have wireless capability, although it doesn't use it to synch with a computer or friends' iPods. Instead, you can use it to browse the Web, watch YouTube videos or download music from a WiFi-specific iTunes Music Store. With its widescreen display and WiFi capability, the iPod touch might sound like a big step up from older iPod models. But the iPod touch isn't for everyone.'"

IBM Joins Community 213

Petrushka writes "In a press release today, with accompanying press FAQ, IBM announces a change in its relationship to the development community. The upshot is that they're making a long-term commitment to OOo; no organization has paid off any other organization for this; they're devoting about 35 of their developers in China to OOo; and they'll be contributing accessibility code from Lotus Notes to improve current support for assistive technologies. You may recall that an alleged shortage of assistive technologies that work with OOo has been one of the big criticisms leveled against the idea of governments standardizing on the OpenDocument format, which is a file format that OOo and several other office suites support."
The Internet

Thoughts on the Social Graph 111

Jamie found an excellent story about the trouble with social graphs. The author discusses the proliferation of social networking websites, the annoying problems this creates, and proposes an open solution to much of the problem. Essentially he is talking about an API for all those relationship systems not under the control of any single commercial entity, coupled with a shared login system. Had things like this been popularized a half a decade ago, we'd be looking at a different internet.

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