Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks

The Smart Car vs. My Toyota

Posted by Matthew Greensmith at 7:05 AM on May 14, 2008

I read an article this morning touting the safety of the Smart Car, the tiny two-person, just shy of 9-foot car in production by Daimler. The Smart twofer did well in crash tests, achieving an overall rating of “good.”

But that’s not what caught my attention about the article. No, what caught my eye was the touted gas mileage the Smart twofer gets. “Up to” 31 mpg in the city, and 40 on the highway. We all know those factory-touted numbers are inflated; actual mileage is usually 3-5 points less. This means the Smart twofer, in reality, probably gets about 28 or 29 mpg city, and 37 or 38 highway.

Color me not impressed. My 1989 Toyota Corolla Wagon regularly gets 30 mpg in the city, and 40 on the highway. That’s with the air conditioner running! And I can fit four people easily in my Toyota, and carry cargo as well. I’m not sure what my Toyota is supposed to get in mileage, I just know that in the year and a half I’ve owned it I’ve been happy with the mileage it gets.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m getting awfully tired of hearing “gets 25 miles to the gallon” like that’s a good thing. My 1967 four-door Ford Fairlane got 25 mpg city, and that was back in the early 80′s. When they can start advertising 50 miles to the gallon, or at the very least, 40 miles to the gallon, in most cars, we’ll be getting somewhere.

In the meantime, I’m growing less and less impressed with the Smart Car. It’s not cheap to buy, and doesn’t get good enough miles per gallon to even pay for that extra cost over the years you would own it. I’ll stick with my Toyota, thanks.

And on the subject of cars…

Posted by todd at 5:50 AM on March 18, 2008

The Telegraph has published the results of its poll on the 100 most beautiful cars of all time. The list is dominated by English and Italian cars, which may partly be due to a natural bias of The Telegraph being a UK paper, but I cannot find much fault with their judgment (although I would have put the Aston Martin DB 5 a couple of places higher, and the Alfa Romeo 8C would be #1 in my book.

It is fact that the English and the Italians make the most beautiful cars (and their share of shockers as well). If only they made reliable ones :)

Bought Any Illegal Software From A Spammer, Lately?

Posted by geeknews at 9:58 AM on December 12, 2004

Bought Any Illegal Software From A Spammer, Lately?
The offer advertised in that e-mail message is awfully tempting. Microsoft Windows XP Professional for only $39? The entire Microsoft Office Professional suite for less than a few sawbucks? It’s real software, isn’t it? Well it sure is, and it’s a lot more, too.

Read the rest of this entry »

Smarter Traffic Lights!

Posted by geeknews at 1:57 AM on December 7, 2004

How many times have you been sitting in traffic cussing out a traffic light that changed, with no other cars in the other intersection. It happens here in Hawaii “ALL THE TIME”. These idiot traffic engineers here have not a clue what a timed traffic light is.

When I lived in Guam I loved driving at night because all you had to do was flash your high beams at a RED light and it would change if no traffic was detected coming the other way. It was common to see cars start flashing their high beams when they were 500 ft away to try and get the lights to change quicker. Guam is a small place but has twice as many cars as people so traffic was always a problem so smart lights were appreciated.

Seems their has been some research on this front and municipalities would be smart to listen to what it being said. [Smart Mobs]

Do you have teens driving and do you not trust them!

Posted by geeknews at 2:49 AM on July 27, 2004

I can only say that I am thankful that they did not have a blackbox that could have been installed in my vehicles as a 16 year old. My dad probably would have pulled my drives license the first week. I somehow survived that but it seems now parents can have a tracking device installed in their kids cars to make sure they are driving the speed limit and not doing some of the real dumb things many of us did that we where lucky to survive. (Yes Eric, I remember that pass on the right)

To be honest with my oldest child fast approaching driving age I cannot see doing this to her, after all the grades a fantastic and her head has not turned to mush. I will see what happens in the next 18 months but hopefully I will not have to resort to such extreme measures. [Engadget]

What to do with 13 Camera’s mounted to a Van

Posted by geeknews at 4:08 AM on May 26, 2004

Imagine having a van that had 13 cameras and took a picture every 15 feet. The applications are unlimited I would love to have them drive thru my grandfathers property this would give me a visual record of what state the property is in. Do this every few years and you would have one heck of a record. BUt think about using it for homeland security etc. Insurance adjusters like it and homeland defense does to. [Yahoo News]

14.6 Billion for 2 miles of Highway

Posted by geeknews at 1:37 PM on December 19, 2003

With one of the most comprehensive construction projects over, the city of Boston is about to experience a renaissance of sorts in that the Big Dig has finally come to a conclusion. It should make the boston experience more enjoyable. 10,000 years from now if where still around someone is going to look back at the architecture required to make it happen and say wow. [CSM]

Is your life wasting away in Traffic Jams?

Posted by geeknews at 3:50 AM on December 17, 2003

I am one of the very fortunate people that live in Hawaii that when I leave for work at 6am the direction I am driving is away from downtown and traffic is light. I am able to quickly jump on the expressway and enjoy a beautiful drive across to the other side of the Island. Total commuter time from when I walk out the front door till I sit down at my desk 25 minutes.

On the other hand I have co-workers who leave there homes 1 hour earlier than I do and arrive at the same time. That is my definition of commuter hell. For those of you that live in and around San Francisco many would label that 90 minute commute as life.

The traffic has gotten so bad here in Hawaii that they are thinking of putting in a rail system (20 years to late) it has gotten some bad press but I think it is a wonderful idea.

My wife and I have been talking of buying a new home as our family is outgrowing our current home. The area we can afford to buy in is close to the area that the rail would originate. I am all for it but local populace would rather suffer through gridlock than have section of the rail raised as they are afraid it will reduce the beauty of Hawaii. The State has a hard decision to make taxes will have to be raised but I hate the idea of having to wait 5-10 years for them to get it built. I will suffer in my current home versus fighting the traffic.

I envy those that do have speedy mass transit with easy access points. I do not qualify riding the bus as speedy as Hawaii has a wonderful bus system but it competes with other motor vehicles.

It is nice to know that some of you are finding ways to make your mass transit time productive. [ZDNet]

Go Go Gadget

Posted by geeknews at 6:09 PM on May 29, 2003

Ever wondered what technological advancements are taking place with automobiles these days. Well look no further. The Audi A8 L has my total geek attention. The $68,000 Audi features solar panels that heat and cool the interior when it’s not running and an instrument panel that sports a LCD media center. Read full story here [WIRED]