Every once in a while, you come across a company that's just really cool. Online CD trading outfit LaLa.com is one such company. Not only does LaLa pay registered artists a percentage of the income generated from CD trades on the site (despite the fact that this is not legally required) and donate unregistered artists' shares to a fund that helps pay for independent musicians' medical insurance, it also revived online radio pioneer WOXY.com and allows users to create and stream massive online playlists--for free. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when a company that'… Read more
LaCie unveiled six new products to its storage lineup today, ranging from a Blu-ray drive, to a biometric hard drive, to a RAID array.
The d2 Blu-Ray drive is an external optical drive that works with both Windows and Mac machines, via either FireWire or USB connection. It comes bundled with Roxio burning software and a 50GB Blu-ray disc. The drive reads and writes (and rewrites) 25GB or 50GB BD-R, BD-RE (rewritable), DVD+/-RW DL, and CD+/-RW. It's available for preorder for $1,149.
The Quadra Hard Drive sports four interface options: USB, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, and … Read more
LaCie, maker of storage devices, computer LCDs, and other computer peripherals, is one of the few companies to truly embrace original and clever aesthetic design. Why shove your gear into boring gray boxes (and then into a closet to hide the boring grayness) when you can encase it in colorful, whimsical designs that you want to show off?
LaCie's latest USB/FireWire hub is a perfect illustration of this marriage of tech and high design. The octopodal Huby (pronounced hub-ee) was designed by Ora-Ito, a French company. Each of the eight arms has a connector at the tip: four … Read more
I just got back from the Los Angeles Auto Show, and Honda had more concept cars on display than anyone. But that's apparently not enough for Honda this car show season--the company just released a sketch of another concept it's saving for the Detroit Auto Show. The Accord Coupe Concept is probably a better depiction of future Honda styling than the Remix or the Step Bus. The Accord Coupe Concept sketch presents a sporty roofline, but the front wheels look larger than the rear ones. Which might be Honda's intent for a front-wheel-drive car, but more likely … Read more
A small but lively group of demonstrators set themselves up outside the Los Angeles Auto Show, giving a green wash job to a white Hummer H2. The only problem was that they had the most polluting car in the immediate vicinity. The cars lined up at the curb, and sponsored by the Green Car Journal, were all zero-emission and hybrid vehicles. While the demonstrators were suggesting that the car companies weren't serious about making environmentally friendly vehicles, I was looking at Ford's fuel-cell Explorer, an SUV that runs on hydrogen and has water vapor as its only emission. … Read more
For BMW, engineering the impossible comes naturally. The company's engineers heard that hydrogen will be the fuel of the future, so they took a 7-series sedan and converted it. Instead of the 10-plus years of development that's gone into other automakers hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles, BMW needed only a couple of years to build the Hydrogen7, which it showed off at the Los Angeles Auto Show. But the Hydrogen7 uses a completely different approach than a fuel-cell vehicle. BMW Vice President Dr. Timm Kehler told us that electric motors could provide the performance that BMW demands, so the company … Read more
Arnold Schwarzenegger kicked off the second day of the LA Auto Show here today by telling carmakers that clean energy is the future of the auto industry. Surrounded by a collection of alternative-fuel vehicles, including BMW's Hydrogen7, Tesla's electric-powered roadster, and Honda's hydrogen fuel cell-powered FCX Concept, the California governor said that it was time for automakers to "get on the train" to alternative energy.
He also thanked car manufacturers for what they have done to date in their efforts to produce vehicles that run on alternatives to gasoline. A troupe of automotive executives joined … Read more
When we got the 2006 BMW X5 in for review eariler this year, we panned it for its pathetic tech offering: the baseline model (which came with a price tag north of $50K) didn't even come with a CD player, insulting our tech sensibilites instead with--brace yourselves--a cassette deck. Well, from famine, we go to feast. Today at the 2007 LA Auto Show, BMW unveiled its next-generation, 2008 model-year X5. We're pleased to announce that the cassette player is gone, and in its place is a veritable host of interior tech features, including a simplified iDrive, a rear-seat … Read more
How about a video game in your FJ Cruiser? Or just a kickin' audio system in whatever you drive? Toward the end of our first day at the Los Angeles Auto Show, we stumbled across the Al & Ed Autosound booth. This custom installer goes far beyond merely upgrading stereos. Founded in 1954, the company can do to a car just about anything that a customer wants and can pay for.
In its booth, the company had a GMC Yukon Denali modified with sideboards that automatically lower when a door is opened. The Denali also had a cappuccino maker between … Read more
At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford unveiled its redesigned 2008 Escape, so we no longer have to complain about small LCDs and CD changers mounted under the passenger seat. The new Ford Escape, which comes in straight gasoline and hybrid flavors, gets an exterior redesign that emulates its big brothers in Ford's SUV lineup. The front grille and headlights serve to emphasize the Ford-truck look.
But tough doesn't preclude green in Ford's playbook. The 2008 Ford Escape uses 100-percent recycled material for its fabric seats. And if that's not green enough for you, the hybrid … Read more