Archive for December 2006

 
 

Vehicle Mileage Estimates Get Real

Vehicle Mileage Estimates Get Real

That 55-mile-per-gallon hybrid car you’ve been eyeing may end up being a 44-mpg hybrid if you wait for the 2008 model.The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced a new system Monday for evaluating fuel economy that will lower mileage estimates for most vehicles. On average, vehicles rated under the 2008 method will post a 12% drop in city gasoline mileage and an 8% decline in highway mileage, said Bill Wehrum, the EPA’s acting assistant administrator for air and radiation. With the new testing requirements, the EPA is attempting to come up with estimates that more closely reflect the real-world mileage motorists can expect when they purchase a vehicle. […] In part that’s because the agency’s current test doesn’t include much stop-and-go traffic or lead-footed acceleration. Air conditioners — notorious for lowering mileage by sucking up engine power — aren’t turned on, and all testing is done under conditions that simulate a 70-degree environment. The new system will use more high-speed driving, partly in 20-degree cold. Air conditioning will be on some portion of each driving cycle, and there will be more stop-and-go and rapid-acceleration driving.

New Toyota Sports Car Hybrid

Winding Road » Archive » Looking To Establish Enthusiast Credibility, Toyota Previews FT-HS Concept

Toyota appears hell bent on re-establishing its credibility among enthusiasts. With the euthanizing of the Supra and MR2, there’s been little in the automotive juggernaut’s stable to quicken the pulse, but recent announcements like Lexus’ forthcoming “F? lineup should help reinvigorate the brand with driving aficionados. As should the FT-HS Hybrid Sports Concept previewed here.Slated to debut on Sunday, January 7 at the North American International Auto Show, the HSC is expected to be a 400 horsepower hybrid concept sports car. Designed by Toyota’s Newport Beach, California studio, the 2 2 boasts a 3.5-liter V-6 yoked to a 650-volt water-cooled motor, and a retractable roof. […] There’s some debate about what segment said vehicle would play in, as well as name and cost, but Toyota says it is fantasizing about projecting a price tag of around $35,000 and a 0-60 mile-per-hour time of around 4 seconds. Whooeeey.

Using your Mac

In the grand scheme of things, I’m a Mac newbie. I’ve used my Power Mac exclusively as my home computer for just two years and three months. I love it dearly, and I particularly enjoy the OS upgrade from about a year and a half ago. With the next OS upgrade on the horizon, I see lots of people talking about what they want to see or not want to see or what they like and dislike.Apple Logo

Reading all this, it occurred to me: I’m not a Mac power user. Heck, I’m a freak. I was listening to Mac Break Weekly, in which the entire panel of experts discussed how useless the Dock was and how stupid Spotlight is. They were asking for ways to remove the Dock entirely! I don’t get it. I have a core group of applications I use most often that I have a click away on the Dock. That’s a wonderful thing to me. I don’t need to clear all available windows to find an icon on the desktop. I don’t need to click on the START button and then the PROGRAMS button and then another button or two to get to my Most Favored Applications. I just have a link to it on the side of my screen, always visible. (Yes, I moved my Dock to the far left.)

How do these people launch their applications? Are they all just Quicksilver dependent?

The other thing I heard complaints about was the Spotlight feature. I can sort of understand some of the frustrations with it. But it works wonders on my machine. I don’t want to search a network with it. I usually know what I’m looking for on it, so I know what search terms to use. It’s just easier to type in the beginnings of a document name instead of launching Finder and digging through folders to get to the document. And, sometimes, I do searches of my hard drive for documents I don’t remember the names of, and I find them, pretty quickly. Boolean search would be wonderful, yes, but I don’t see a big problem otherwise.

Am I just that big a Mac loser?

10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job

10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job

Getting a job and trading your time for money may seem like a good idea. There’s only one problem with it. It’s stupid! It’s the stupidest way you can possibly generate income! This is truly income for dummies. Why is getting a job so dumb? Because you only get paid when you’re working. Don’t you see a problem with that, or have you been so thoroughly brainwashed into thinking it’s reasonable and intelligent to only earn income when you’re working? Have you never considered that it might be better to be paid even when you’re not working? Who taught you that you could only earn income while working? Some other brainwashed employee perhaps? Don’t you think your life would be much easier if you got paid while you were eating, sleeping, and playing with the kids too? Why not get paid 24/7? Get paid whether you work or not. Don’t your plants grow even when you aren’t tending to them? Why not your bank account?

It might be a lot to wrap your head around, but it’s true. It might not always be practical, but it’s something to strive for.

(Thanks for the link, Shawn!)

Wednesday Link Dump

Tuesday Wii Link Dump

52 Tips for Better Writing

There is only one way to write well, remember. Failing that, try some of these helpful suggestions:

  • Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  • It behooves you to avoid archaic expressions.
  • Avoid archaeic spellings too.
  • Understatement is always best.
  • Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  • One-word sentences? Eliminate. Always!
  • Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  • The passive voice should not be used.
  • Don’t be redundant.
  • Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.
  • Don’t never use no double negatives.
  • Poofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  • Hopefully, you will use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  • Eschew obfuscation.
  • No sentence fragments.

Mario broke the Wii

I tried logging into the Wii Store last night a few times. Sometimes, I just couldn’t get in.  Others, I’d get to the ordering phase and would have trouble connecting to the store at the last minute. The error was always that the store wasn’t available or something similar to that. Methinks Nintendo made a small killing on Super Mario Bros. on Christmas Day and it bogged down their servers.  Just a hunch.

New Releases, 26 Dec 2006

The Black Dahlia (Widescreen Edition)Small week, given it’s the friggin’ day after Christmas and all.

Highlights:

Brian DePalma’s THE BLACK DAHLIA.

The Descent (Unrated Widescreen Edition)And THE DESCENT, a well-received (critically) suspense/horror film from earlier this year featuring a bunch of spelunking young women.

And that’s about it. Go watch whatever it is you got for Christmas, instead. =)

The worse news: Next week is even more painful, with only a grand total of eight releases.  But a little movie about snakes and flying is in there.

Merry Christmas 2006!

Merry Christmas from Various and Sundry

Abnormal posting returns tomorrow! Enjoy your day! =)

(Fonts from Comicraft, who are having their annual New Year’s Day sale in just a week.)

V&S on the Wii!

Wii Browser Looks at Various and Sundry

Coupons are worth one hundredth of a cent

Ever try to cash 100 of them in somewhere?

We’ve all heard the stories of people who buy truckloads of pudding for the frequent flier miles.  Surely, someone somewhere has collected enough unused and unwanted coupons to trade them in for the penny and make the manufacturer pay, right?

These are the things I think about.

Mazda’s Tilting Cars Destroyed

Ouch. The blog quoting this estimates the loss at over $100 million. I wonder how much of that the insurance company will pick up, particularly since it was Mazda that decided to scrap the cars.

Mazda scrapping all vehicles aboard capsized Cougar Ace – Autoblog

Mazda Motor Corporation today announced that all of the U.S.- and Canada-bound Mazda vehicles from the car-carrying vessel, Cougar Ace, which nearly capsized off the Aleutian Islands in late July, would be scrapped. “After thorough testing by engineers from our American and Japanese R&D centers, we decided the most appropriate course of action – with our customers foremost in mind – was not to sell any of the 4,703 Mazdas aboard the ship,” said Jim O’Sullivan, President and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, based in Irvine, Calif. The Cougar Ace sat listing at more than 60-degrees for nearly a month after an incident at sea, before it could be towed to the Port of Portland, Ore., for repairs and to have its cargo off-loaded.

Just out of curiosity

Is there anyone else working today?

I mean, my company is open, but the parking lot was half empty at a time when I usually need to park in a different lot completely.  Plus, it’s just eerily quiet today.  Yet I am up to my ears in work.  Go fig.

Friday Link Dump