A new tech barge in old SUV clothing, the Dodge Durango Hybrid features an impressive array of cabin tech and one of the most advanced power trains in a production vehicle. This truck is big, with seating for seven, plus cargo space, all riding high in classic SUV fashion. But environmentalists could learn to love it as it turns in fuel economy equivalent to a V-6 sedan. We take a close look at this behemoth, maximizing our city mileage and testing out the cabin tech.
The 2009 Acura RL is an evolved version of the generation of Acura's flagship that first entered the market in 2005. The main changes to the car's exterior styling are bolder chrome flashes across the revised fascia and rear decklid, as well as the usual nips, tucks, and lens reshaping. Under the hood, a larger V-6 delivers the oomph the previous RL lacked.
Inside, things are mostly familiar, with some nice trim upgrades and a subtler palette than in our previous test cars. The much-lauded voice-control system has expanded its vocabulary to 700 commands, joining a few other … Read more
Riding around in a bright red Dodge Challenger SRT8 is not the best way to go unnoticed. With its wide and low design and deep HEMI V-8 growl, all eyes were on us as we cruised the streets of San Francisco. But the kind of attention attracted in the Challenger was unlike most high-powered sports cars in which we've found ourselves behind the wheel. Everywhere we went, people--almost exclusively male--were giving us the thumbs up, approving nods, fist pumps, and, on one occasion, a full-on round of applause. Yeah, that last one surprised even us.
The attention didn't … Read more
Of all the new capabilities being introduced on portable navigation devices (PNDs) and GPS-enabled cell phones, real-time traffic is probably one of the most-wanted and hottest features today. It makes sense. After all, traffic plays a huge role during your travels, whether you're just making your everyday commute to work or heading off on a holiday.
All that said, just how useful are the traffic capabilities on GPS devices? Are there limitations? Where does the data come from? To help you (and me) better understand the technology and types of services, I talked with Nick Kiernan, Vice President of Business Development for TrafficCast, a traffic service provider. Check out our conversation below to learn more about the company, traffic data in PNDs and cell phones, and the future of GPS.
Microsoft's Cashback program, which offers people discounts on products purchased through the company's Live search engine, is attracting visitors, research firm Hitwise said Friday.
"We see an interesting trend where the share of visits to the Cashback section of MSN Live is increasing," said research director Heather Dougherty on the company's blog. "Eleven weeks ago, MSN Cashback represented 3.75 percent of the traffic to Live.com and grew to 6.29 percent last week. This rise in Cashback's traffic underscores the interest in the program, which is likely to be getting a … Read more
The team at Pingdom, a firm that focuses primarily on uptime and performance, has posted a new blog entry estimating that Facebook will overtake MySpace as the top social network in the U.S. within a month or two. That's largely because, according to the same numbers, Facebook has doubled in size in the past year.
Several months ago, traffic firm ComScore noted that Facebook--a year ago far smaller than the News Corp.-owned MySpace--was starting to pass its rival in worldwide traffic. But in the U.S., which still has the big ad dollars, MySpace remained bigger.
There'… Read more
Most navigation systems with traffic-monitoring capabilities make you pay an extra $60 or so per year for the service. Not so the Navigon 5100: Its real-time traffic features are included subscription-free. Right now, Buy.com has the Navigon 5100 (refurbished) for just $129.99 shipped.
That's a decidedly entry-level price for a GPS, but this model goes way beyond entry-level features. In addition to the traffic service, which will advise you of trouble spots and suggest alternate routes, the Navigon offers text-to-speech capabilities (it announces actual street names) and a lane-assistant function that recommends the best lane to be … Read more
The good news for Facebook, according to new statistics from Hitwise, is that its traffic is up 50 percent in the U.S. since last August. The not-so-good news for Zuckerberg & pals? The same numbers say that News Corp.'s MySpace still owns a whopping 67.5 percent of the social-networking market in the U.S.
Hitwise gathered its data from an analysis of traffic to 56 different social-networking sites, and concluded that Facebook has gone from a market share of under 14 percent to slightly over 20 percent in the past year. MySpace, meanwhile, has seen a 10 … Read more
We got our hands on the Lincoln MKS, a new model featuring the best cabin tech available. The navigation system doesn't just tell you how to get places; it also tells you how to find the cheapest gas, when movies are playing, and the weather conditions for cities all over the U.S. The MKS' Sync system offers the best voice command and device integration available, letting you hook up iPods and other MP3 players and ask for music by artist and album name. Music is played through a THX sound system, the best value in high-end car audio. … Read more
After recently revamping its NAV-U line of portable GPS devices, Sony dropped by to give us a first look at their top of the line NAV-U94T model that should be hitting store shelves soon. We've already covered many of the new features offered by this device, but hands-on time with the device gives us a little more insight. In order of importance, here are the features we liked most:
The first feature demonstrated was the Position Plus technology which uses a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and (interestingly) a barometer to keep track of vehicle position to continue navigation when satellite reception is lost. We chose San Francisco's Stockton Street Tunnel as our destination, which is approximately three blocks long, and set off. Partway through the tunnel, we lost satellite reception, indicated by the display's position triangle turning orange, but the U94T seemed to keep track of our position.
Applying the brakes, we began to slow, then briskly sped back up. The speed readout on the display kept track of these changes as well. Emerging from the other end of the tunnel, the device quickly locked on to satellite reception and we moved on to the next part of testing.… Read more