Jaguar is a brand with quite a bit of history, and as such has retained some of its basic body styles for decades. But no more. The company is undergoing a major change as it redesigns its cars for the new millennium. The XK got a makeover that had some comparing it with Aston Martins. That was the coupe, and now comes the sedan. Jaguar's new XF is a beautiful and thoroughly modern car, with a design suggesting Bentley and Maserati. Even better, it will sell for substantially less than those cars, while having interior components never seen outside … Read more
General Motors is unveiling new models that use both of its hybrid-car technologies at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show. The all-new Chevy Malibu gets the hybrid-lite treatment with the same Belt Alternator Starter system that we've seen in both the Saturn Vue and Saturn Aura Green Lines. GM saves its more sophisticated 2-Mode hybrid technology for its thirstiest full sized trucks as both the Silverado pick-up and the Cadillac Escalade (yes, that's right, the Escalade) make their hybrid debuts this week. Check out our photos here.
(Update: As of 2/01/08, many of the bugs discussed in this blog post have been addressed in Firmware update 2.3 and the PC software update 2.3. While no software is 100% perfect, the Zune software development team has been making significant strides in the past few months, and most users shouldn't experience these same hiccups that were encountered early on.)
Legions of first-gen Zune owners are are downloading the latest version (v1.2) of the PC-based Zune software, and profoundly regretting it. If the Zune support message boards are any indication, there are some bitter first-gen Zune owners out there who are feeling slighted by Microsoft's all-inclusive upgrade to their Zune line.
The major sticking point on the forum (with 9,200 views and counting) seems to be abducted library metadata (album art, ID3 tags, playlists, song ratings) caused by upgrading to the latest version of the Zune PC software. The Zune support team has posted a seemingly viable solution to the problem, but not everyone is happy having to poke around on their computer's Local Settings folder to rename and delete files.
To see if the complaints had any merit, I upgraded from v1.1 of the software (the version I was given for the official CNET review) to the latest version. The result? The majority of my personal music library had been scrambled--artist and album information got all mixed up, and album art was reassigned randomly across my collection. My Zune Pass subscription music files, however, survived unharmed. To be clear, the Zune software upgrade didn't scramble my actual music files, they just appeared scrambled within the Zune software. The same files displayed perfectly fine in Windows Media Player. Instructions posted in the Zune forum solved my metadata scramble problem, but it was a hassle.
Another problem people are running into with the new Zune software… Read more
While most of the automotive press in Nissan's booth at the Los Angeles Auto Show were climbing over themselves to get a look at the GT-R supercar, we managed to snag some photos of the second-generation Nissan Murano, making its world debut here today. The updated crossover SUV gets some new sheet-metal styling in the form of more pronounced body lines and a refreshed front fascia. Inside the cabin, the updates continue with some sweet new tech options and a whole new perspective for rear-seat passengers. Check out our pictures here.
Honda released the production version of its latest hydrogen fuel-cell car at this week's 2007 LA auto show. The FCX Clarity develops the technology and exterior styling found in Honda's FCX Concept in a car that will be produced and leased to retail customers in 2008. The Clarity also has some unique cabin gadgetry to go with its advanced drive train. Check out our images of the latest entrant to the hydrogen highway here.
YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, speaking at the NewTeeVee Live conference today, confirmed that high-quality YouTube video streams are coming soon. Although YouTube's goal, he said, is to make the site's vast library of content available to everyone, and that requires a fairly low-bitrate stream, the service is testing a player that detects the speed of the viewer's Net connection and serves up higher-quality video if viewers want it.
Why wouldn't they? Because the need to buffer the video before it starts playing will change the experience. Hence the experiment, rather than just a rapid rollout of … Read more
We have to hand it to Sony: the company latched onto the notion of computers as fashion accessories well before colorful Inspirons were even a glint in Michael Dell's eye. We weren't exactly surprised, consequently, to receive an invitation from Sony to attend a launch party for MTV's Rock the Vote campaign, hosted by Christina Aguilera, at hipster West Hollywood boutique Kitson.
As tech journalists, we rarely rub elbows with bona fide celebrities (Wil Wheaton notwithstanding). But while the paparazzi and star-struck teenyboppers fawned over a gang of pubescent boys who we can only assume were in … Read more
While the battle to access your music and video files on the go continues both of the software front with services like Qloud, Orb and Simplify Media, there's also the hardware side of things with placeshifting technology from Sling Media, SanDisk and others. Ultimately people want a really simple way to enjoy their stuff elsewhere with a soft or Webware experience that's easy to use.
rVibe is an interesting piece of Windows software that opened up its doors to the public last month. It's half jukebox, half social music marketplace that's taken a new approach to music pricing and sharing by giving users a sizable array of songs that can be both streamed and downloaded using two different price points. While the music comes from a combination of sources, the actual transfer of the songs is handled via p2p in a similar fashion to Napster in the days or yore.
Streaming a song will cost you $.03 a pop, while downloading an entire copy (sans-DRM and at a audiophile-friendly 320 kbps) runs $.99. RVibe has a built-in recommendation service that lets you suggest a track you've purchased to one of your friends. If they end up buying it, you get $.05 back, which can either be spent on more music or donated to charity. It's also worth noting that every time you pay for a streamed song, it will reduce the price of purchasing the track by subtracting the price of a streaming session, all the way down to $.78 a track (or seven streamed plays). While there's a preview portion of the service called "auditions" I wouldn't mind seeing a super low cost streaming option in other popular online music stores to avoid purchasing songs with deceptively good preview clips.
Today they're launching "rVibe Anywhere" which is their personal streaming component. Assuming you've got a copy of rVibe running on the machine with your music library, you can get full access to all your tracks, along with the capability to share any purchased songs with others with an embeddable player widget. While the incredibly popular iTunes software from Apple can accomplish similar feats locally (and across the Web by fooling it with plug-ins), rVibe's solution is a little more extensible from the get go when it comes to making music sharing a social experience. Despite Apple launching their own set of Widgets earlier this year, clicking on a song still requires firing up iTunes, which everyone might not have.
This year's Los Angeles Auto Show is notable for its conspicuous lack of exciting new models and concepts. One automaker to buck the trend, however, is Hyundai, which took the wraps off the best-looking car of the day when it unveiled its Concept Genesis Coupe.
The coupe is the second car to get the Genesis designation, following the Genesis Concept sedan unveiled earlier this year in New York and scheduled for production as a 2009 model.
Like the sedan, the Coupe is rear-wheel drive, and is powered by a 3.8-liter V-6 that's making north of 300 horsepower.… Read more