It turns out that BMW is not the only automaker to have toyed with the idea of retractable car doors. Thanks to this video evidence, we now know that Lincoln sponsored an even more elaborate car door mechanism in the 1990s. The mule for the concept was a 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII, from which the B-pillar was removed. Instead of a front-hinged door, the coupe features a retractable panel (complete with an electric window) that slides underneath the car body to allow access. The whole process takes less than 5 seconds from start to finish.
This is the second time in about a week that a relatively unknown GPS manufacturer has made us stop in our tracks and take notice of their product. Last time it was Navigon, and now it's Netropa. The company's Intellinav 2 and 3 portable navigation systems caught our eye not so much for their design (though compact and shiny) but rather for their pricing and safety features. The Intellinav 2 retails for just $279.99, and unlike some similarly priced systems, it includes text-to-speech functionality, so it will speak actual street names instead of giving you generic directions. … Read more
Smart Technology is the innovative new line by Pottery Barn. I couldn't stop laughing when i first saw this over on Cool Hunting... is this the sign that technology has truly become ubiquitous in our everyday? Or have we just redefined what makes something "smart"? Honestly, take a look at this new line of products... classic Pottery Barn styled pieces get more intelligent with the integration of speakers, powerstrips, and holes for cables to come through... Below are a few more pieces from the collection. All of this makes me wonder whether there is a need for the services of someone willing to adapt all of your antique furniture to better house your tech... embedding speakers, powerstrips, wifi boosters, splash pad chargers that work beneath that gorgeous wood inlay?… Read more
Barely a week after it was announced that a California man is suing Honda for the worse-than-advertised fuel economy of his Civic Hybrid, an independent study has found that he is not alone in his disillusionment.
Results from this week's J.D. Power and Associates' second annual Alternative Powertrain Study show that the number of customers considering buying a hybrid has declined over the past year, partly due to a realization of the actual mileage that hybrid cars are likely to achieve. Of the 4,000 participants surveyed, 50 percent said they were considering a hybrid compared with 57 … Read more
Two recent reports raise questions about the long-term impact of the current venture investment boom in clean technologies. Although neither raises any warning signs specifically, they reminded me of the challenges of making clean energy mainstream.
Topline Strategy on Monday published results of an analysis that found venture capitalists steeped in more established industries of life sciences and IT will have a tough go of it in clean tech.
With its heavy emphasis on the energy industry, the clean--or green--tech segment faces numerous challenges, including different financial models and a complex regulatory environment.
A few specialized firms with experiences in … Read more
We editors and reporters here at Crave hear a lot of product pitches. Some are right up our respective alleys, but we have to refuse a lot of them for various reasons. One of my favorite refusals was when I had to explain to the nice PR man that I wasn't going to review his CD filing solution because it didn't require power and, you know, have chips in it. But I have to eat my words right now, because I finally opened the Disc Eraser device that's been sitting on my desk for months.
The Disc … Read more
You can find a decent computer for a lot less than $1,000 these days. But what if you want to pay even less without splurging on software, and can't stand to deal with that oxymoron called "tech support" when something goes awry?
The pay-as-you-go Zonbu PC is a novel new option. This book-size, two-pound desktop lacks a hard drive, instead storing your data on its servers using 128-bit encryption (hands-on here). Zonbu's 4GB flash memory is loaded with Linux and open-source apps.
Similar to cell phone or cable TV service, you'd pay $99 upfront … Read more
Ever since the first time I saw Lt. Frank Bullitt thrash his Ford Shelby GT around San Francisco, I have longed for a chance to drive the streets of this city unhindered by traffic restrictions, pedestrians, and other such annoyances. Thanks to a Microsoft application, my dream has virtually come true. The Virtual Earth Local Technology Preview makes use of streetside-view photographs similar to those used by Google's Street View application.
With the Microsoft service you get the added bonus of navigating the maps in either a yellow race car or a blue sports car. Drivers get a view … Read more
Unlike these models of creative recycling, some costume jewelry imported from China contains heavy metals from discarded electronics and could make you sick, as the Wall Street Journal reported last week.
Some novelty necklaces and earrings are laced with lead and antimony that likely came from e-waste thrown away by consumers in the United States and other developed nations, then shipped to China for unsafe recycling. "Best Friends Forever" necklaces from Claire's mall shops and stud earrings from … Read more
We hear a lot of Ferrari-related yarns here at Crave--the story of the cardboard FXX Millechili being one of our recent favorites. But here's one that really made us sheepish: a full-size Ferrari made entirely from wool.
British art student Lauren Porter has devoted nearly a year of her life to making a full-size replica of the car, which looks like a cross between a Testarossa and a 355. According to Tech Digest, Porter enlisted the help of 20 family members and friends to achieve the feat, although she welded the car's steel frame together herself.