Monday's video blog featured Venezuelan-born race car driver Milka Duno making her first attempt at stock car testing for the Automobile Racing Club of America at Daytona International Speedway a little over a week ago, a foray that turned out to be pretty successful. But it seems it's hard to write about or discuss Duno without IndyCar superstar Danica Patrick being referenced or mentioned in some form or another. Well, sure enough the TV commercial sexpot and would-be NASCAR-bound Patrick was also getting in on the stock car fun at the ARCA's Daytona event December 18 through … Read more
Hello dear Car Tech readers! I hope y'all drank a boatload of eggnog and had a great Xmas holiday (or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever it is you celebrate). But we weren't alone in celebrating all the good things (yeah, all three of them) about 2009, but Venezuelan-born racecar driver Milka Duno had a couple more things to celebrate in late December. About a week ago, Duno made history--again--by becoming the first woman of Hispanic descent to do stock car testing for the Automobile Racing Club of America.
It all went down on December 19, 2009, at world famous … Read more
Personal computers have become much more reliable over the last 10 years or so, mostly due to the introduction of advanced operating systems with memory protection and hardware abstraction. The hardware itself has gotten better too; uncorrectable random errors are rare in PCs and extraordinarily rare in server-class systems.
These and other improvements have largely eliminated machine crashes. Blue-screen errors on Windows and kernel panics in Linux and Mac OS X still occur, but much more rarely.
Error-reporting services have become common, helping software developers figure out what went wrong. Most large developers now issue regular patches to fix newly … Read more
Summer road trips are in full swing. But before you set out for your vacation, you'll need to remember to keep yourCar services in good shape. If you're mechanically inclined, you might be able to do that yourself. If not, check out some of these services that can help you out.
2CarPros 2CarPros might look like a simple question-and-answer site at first glance, but with some digging, you'll find it to be one of the most informative sites in this roundup.
Once you get to 2CarPros, you can immediately start sifting through the site's huge database of car repair information. Everything from an oil change to refurbishing an engine is included in its database. If you want to ask the Pros questions, you'll need to sign up for the site. But if you want to the most value, 2CarPros has a videos section, providing several clips on how to repair your vehicle. It's a really informative site.
DriverSide If you're looking to find out when you should be performing routine repairs on your car, DriverSide is the place to go.
Once you get to the site, you'll need to input the kind of car you own. From there, the service will estimate its value, tell you when you'll need to get its oil changed, and list all the other service you need to have done at certain times throughout the car's lifespan. If you can't do the work yourself, DriverSide even tells you where to find a mechanic near you. It's a neat site.
FuelClinic FuelClinic determines how well your car is managing its fuel consumption. After you sign up for the site, you need only to input your car's information, tell the service how much you spent the last couple times you filled up, and the site will return calculations on your miles per gallon and how much you will be spending on gas going forward. It's not the most advanced fuel-monitoring service in this roundup, but it's simple, which might make it attractive to some.… Read more
Open source started as a software-development phenomenon, but it has grown far beyond those roots. As a case in point, EDAG presented an open-source car at the recent Geneva Motor Show, as AutoBlog reports.
Nor is EDAG's concept car a me-too knock-off of a popular car. AutoBlog calls out just a few of the EDAG's car's innovations, open source being one of them:
The use of (O)LED technology as both driver-configurable exterior lighting units and as a television screen-like safety feature that alerts those behind of road conditions; Its 100% recyclable basalt fiber chassis (said to … Read more
The American auto industry's "Big Three" are on the ropes, claiming to face imminent bankruptcy if the government won't give them billions loans, which looks like it may not happen. General Motors and Chrysler are in the direst shape, with Ford somewhat better off.
While both the concatenation of events leading to this situation and the potential scope of failure are unprecedented, the loss of a brand (or three, or even an entire multibrand manufacturer) is not.
Oldsmobile was a recent single-brand loss. Ditto Plymouth a few years back. Thirty years ago, it was the "Big Four," the fourth being American Motors, which was born from the merger of Nash and Hudson in 1954 and which even in the late 1970s was in trouble. An alliance with Renault failed to save AMC, and it was swallowed up by Chrysler in 1987. The Eagle nameplate survived for a few years after that; Jeep is still with us.
Before that, there was Studebaker. Best known for innovative (or was it outrageous?) styling in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and the futuristic Avanti of the 1960s, Studebaker predated the automobile. The company started as a wagon-builder in the mid-19th century, and constructed many of the Conestoga wagons that brought pioneers to the American west. … Read more
Ever wonder what the American automobile industry would be like if it actually made good cars? ZDNet takes it a step further to speculate as to what GM would look like under Steve Jobs' guidance, speculation that is worth further discussion.
No one is suggesting that Steve Jobs has any interest in reforming GM and the U.S. automobile industry, but don't you wish he would? Or for the Microsofties among you, how about Steve Ballmer? Or Marc Benioff? Or anyone from the technology industry?
In technology, we don't have the benefit (and problem) of years of government … Read more
Earlier this month I was in Israel moderating a panel on the myths and realities of alternative energy. The good news to report is that technologists are making steady headway in so-called green alternatives like solar and wind. The bad news is that governments aren't yet providing enough investment support for their ideas.
So it's been more than slightly amusing to watch the media circus around the discovery by the United States Geological Survey that the Arctic may hold around one fifth of the planet's future oil and natural gas reserves. Since that Wednesday announcement, every talking … Read more
Europe loves the VW Beetle, the Renault Twingo, and the Smart. The U.S. has the Mini and will finally get the Smart, too. And recently India proudly presented the spiritual successor to all of these--the $2,500 Tata Nano, a "people's car" that is widely gushed about, not only for its surprisingly slick design but also for its innovations.
In recent years, ecoconcerns, design savvy, and an (urban) willingness to quest for practicality have fostered the trend toward specialized cars that are as small as the niches they serve. While the idea of a small car … Read more
The Tokyo Motor Show 2007, the biggest car expo in Asia, doesn't kick off until Saturday. But two CNET News.com galleries offer sneak peeks at what will be showcased, based on press previews this week.
With exception of a few hot sports cars, most of the debuts are quirky environmental options and high-tech concepts, ranging from mini-minivans to personal transporters. Click here for related gallery.
The more basic four- and two-wheel concept cars are featured here.