Nexus One car kit caught on camera

The Google Nexus One will include a couple of accessories when it’s released in January (as rumored). Among them–a dashboard car kit and a Bluetooth desktop dock. The car kit has been caught on camera and doesn’t look to be anything special. It does continue to point toward the eventual demise of the PND though. The desktop dock, model number CR B410, is Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR-capable, as is the Nexus One. This is leading some tech bloggers to believe, citing an FCC filing, that the Bluetooth dock could be tethered via an AV jack to something like a car DVD player to stream media content from the phone to, for example, an HDTV.

Ten Top Automotive Technologies of the Decade

In the '90s, satellite radio and iPods weren't around. Only hardcore computer geeks were tweaking cars to add MP3 capability, and navigation systems were still only available as expensive in-dash systems,' remembered Edmunds.com Senior Technology Editor Doug Newcomb. 'Bluetooth hands-free phones were still years away and Bose was the best known of only a handful of premium car audio offerings.'

1. iPod Integration: We've come a long way from carrying around bulky multi-CD cases. Today drivers can bring along all their favorite music with a device that fits in a pocket and can be integrated with most vehicles.
2. MP3 File Access: Most stock radios now offer CD players that can read MP3-encoded discs that can store hundreds of tunes, and if a car has a Car DVD player then the number of songs that can fit on a disc goes up exponentially. Many cars now offer an aux-in for plugging in an MP3 player, and more vehicles now have a USB port or SD card slot for reading music files on flash media.
3. Bluetooth: Hands-free laws gave this emerging technology an added boost, and now that wireless music streaming is catching on with carmakers and consumers, Bluetooth is getting even more popular.
4. Satellite Radio: No one could have believed that radio could sound this good, offer this much variety, be largely commercial-free and not fade in the middle of nowhere.
5. High-End Branded Audio Systems: Good-sounding, name-brand OEM audio system from Bose, Infinity, Pioneer and others were available for years, but premium systems from Mark Levinson, Bang & Olufsen, B&W and others set a new benchmark during this decade.
6. Exterior Cameras: Backup cameras became popular in giant-size SUVs and have since proliferated in a variety of vehicles large and small.
7. Navigation: In just a few short years after portable nav systems debuted in the early part of the decade, with retail prices in excess of $1,000, they quickly became an inexpensive consumer electronics purchase. Now smartphone nav apps are further democratizing the availability of navigation.
8. Voice Activation: Until recently, voice activation was more of a gimmick and novelty, but in the past few years voice activation has become more accurate and reliable -- and available on more cars.
9. Ford Sync: Ford Sync deserves a place on this list for many reasons: for its reliable voice recognition, its affordability, its valuable services such as 911 Assist and Traffic, Directions and Information, and its easy upgradability that renders it seemingly timeless even as the car it is in ages.
10. Location-Based Services: Location-based services (LBS) help you get local fuel prices, traffic, weather reports, movie show times, sports scores and more, wherever you are.


Hold On Tight To Your Nexus One: Desk, Car Holders Pending

Engadget is reporting on some accessories you can look forward to when the Google Nexus finally makes its debut. The first is the CR B410 desktop dock, whose main claim to fame is that it includes Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR functionality in the dock itself -- B'tooth functionality already in the Nexus, by the bye. More interesting is the diagram above (from an FCC test report) showing the dock interfaced with a Car DVD player, clearly for multimedia playback through your home entertainment system. (So much for jumbo flat-screens with Web widgets...)

There's also a car mount coming, which appears to hook to the dashboard/vent to allow in-car navigation and other semi-hands-free usage.

2010 looks to be a verrrry interesting year in the smartphone wars.


Kidz Gear IR68KG02 wireless headphones make road trips bearable

The last time I went on a road trip with my family the kids watched movies and played games most of the way. Riding in the car with two young kids can be nerve racking as any parent can tell you. I was ready to hunt down the people behind Sponge Bob and his cohorts after listening to the videos for a few hours.
Next road trip I am getting some headphones like the new Kidz Gear IR68KG02. The headphones are wireless and are designed to be used with in-car DVD and video systems. The headphones will work with other devices as well if you buy the wireless transmitter available as an option.

Kidz Gear promises that the headphones are compatible 100% with all in-car DVD systems that use IR technology. The best news is that the headphones are only $34.99. That is going to be a lot cheaper than the dealer will charge you to order a new set of headphones if yours are lost or broken. The headphones are available now.

Santa's Got a GPS

YOU better watch out, Santa Claus, we KNOW where you are at all times.


Back in the day, kids could only imagine where in the world Santa was flying en route to delivering his presents on Christmas Eve. Today, with GPS tracking devices, even Old Saint Nick's whereabouts can be digitally pinpointed on satellite maps.

NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense), the self-professed "Most sophisticated Santa tracking system in the world," explains their process on the NORAD website. It uses "four high-tech systems to track Santa -- radar, satellites, Santa Cams, and fighter jets. Satellites positioned in geo-synchronous orbit at 22,300 miles from the Earth's surface are equipped with infrared sensors, which enable them to detect heat. Amazingly, Rudolph's bright red nose gives off an infrared signature, which allows our satellites to detect Rudolph and Santa."

The real truth is kids can watch videos as Santa flies over various world landmarks. This year, NORAD has also partnered with Google so kids can track Santa via Google Earth.

Merry Merry!


Thieves stealing your GPS can track you back home

Tech-savvy thieves are doing more than just stealing Car GPS or Car DVD devices off the front seats of cars. They're pushing the right buttons to use the devices to head right back to their owners' homes, Gary Hoffman reports on AOL Autos.

Many GPS devices have a common navigational feature called the home setting, fully automating the process of directing you to your home. Hoffman says its a convenience that burglars and stalkers are sure to appreciate, "turning your free-floating anxiety about data theft into full-blown paranoia about home invasion."

Writes Hoffman:

The possibilities seem endless. The units' presence in vehicles such as a Lexus or a BMW, for example, could give thieves a clue to a much bigger haul at the owner's home. And if they steal the garage door opener, too, they may be able to get inside the house with ease.

Two years ago, thieves stole a number of Acura cars from a corporation's garage in Atlanta, and, in three cases, they used the GPS units in the cars to find and then burglarize employees' homes.

And it wasn't just in Atlanta:

Just last month, two men were accused of a GPS-guided crime spree in Michigan and northern Ohio. They allegedly broke into vehicles parked at shopping centers, stole the units and then burglarized home after home. Police figure the same pair may have been responsible for burglaries in about 20 communities.

This "take me home" function works in reverse as well, helping police identify the owners of lost or stolen GPS devices. In November, police in New Jersey found a Garmin unit in a small cache of stolen goods. By setting the device to its home setting, they were able to identify the owner and return it.

But the bottom line is that, at least theoretically, some of your personal information could be available to anyone getting hold of your navigational device.

You may be more likely to be audited by the IRS or contract H1N1 than be a victim of burglars guided by GPS. Yet the risks "aren't negligible" either, said Erhan Kartaltepe, associate director of the Institute for Cyber Security of the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Your home address could join a large mass of information about you that is "out there," available to the public or determined individuals.

Kartaltepe notes that data isn't usually encrypted on consumer GPS devices. So if thieves break the locking combination -- presuming the driver even bothered to lock it in the first place -- they get access to a home address.

"We encourage people to use common sense and take the same precautions that they would with any consumer electronics device," said Jessica Myers, a spokeswoman for Olathe, Kan.-based Garmin International.

You can take your Car GPS unit with you or lock it in the trunk or glove compartment when you leave your car. You can also lock the unit down with an anchoring device.

One company, New York-based Pioneer Lock, has taken its experience with locking devices for desktop computers and has applied it to on-board GPS units. Its StarLock-GPS product hangs onto the unit with a heavy wire cable and a plate glued to it with high-strength adhesive. The lock can be easily released if you want to take the unit with you, said company owner Peter Parsekian.

If the Car GPS unit itself has a keyboard locking device, Myers recommends that people use it. Garmin has a feature similar to a keyboard lock on a cellphone, she said. "With the Garmin Lock, you either insert a password or drive to a specific location, which you have preset." At that location, the unit unlocks and its owner can access its data and functions without additional effort.

Still, thieves may find it relatively easy to hack their way into a locked unit over several days.

The best course is to deter the theft in the first place, and the simplest solution is to take your GPS unit with you when you leave your car.

"You wouldn't leave your cellphone or your digital camera on the seat," Myers said. "A lot of times people forget this." Since their GPS is often mounted with a suction cup on the windshield, they almost regard it as a structural part of the vehicle, she said.


The advice for dealing with Christmas travel

There is nothing very funny, standing in long queues at the airport or stuck in traffic on the road outside the city, if you were located in the hammock, swimming in the pool or chilling on the beach before the hour. However, what is often at the top of the Christmas trip, when to start the game all hits the streets and the airport and the mind. Here are our 10 tips to keep a cool head is the holiday season of Christmas.

If you fly you register online, 24 hours before the flight and save a lot of standing around the airport. It's still a queue for Bag Drop-off, but tends to move fairly quickly. Online registration, you can choose your seat.

Sydney Airport said Friday, December 18 and Saturday, December 19 is the busiest day at the airport this year with the 2nd January 3 when many people return home. If you or the day you plan to arrive at the airport before your flight and be prepared for long queues.

The NRMA expects its busiest day) on the streets during the last school day (December 18) two days before Christmas (December 23 and days) after Christmas (December 27 to January 4.

Statistics on traffic accidents is the worst time for Christmas Day 10.2, while employed by 10 on Boxing Day.

The NRMA said the morning rush hour tends to a later date during the holidays because so many moved to annual leave, Climax, and then travel to the Wee hours in the morning when you can.

It's hard to travel light, for Christmas, but it makes life easier and help you avoid baggage fees. When you arrive at your destination well before Christmas, and at least some shopping when you get there because the airlines little Christmas spirit when it comes to overweight bags.

Do not be one of many that lead to delays in security checks at the airport by packaging in general, aerosols and other prohibited items in checked baggage.

Despite government campaigns to increase awareness, Sydney Airport seized hundreds of items per day for security checks.

If traveling abroad, remember that there are restrictions on liquids in hand luggage: each element must be 100 ml or less and all containers must be placed in a clear bag zip-lock. See travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au.

If you wear, Christmas gifts, it is preferable not to participate because they must be available for inspection.

Item is not checked baggage if you must. Christmas is the busiest of the year for air travel to say and a better chance of loss of luggage, then get the most from your seven pounds in a chamber baggage allowance per person.

Most airlines allow laptops, bags and cameras in addition to compensation to be done leaves no room for small gifts.

Most Australians do not travel travel insurance in the country, some do not travel internationally. If there was ever a time when the insurance market is the peak Christmas travel, especially if you wear gifts. Insurance companies online actually brought the cost of insurance is money well spent.

If you go, airport transfers, on the ramp at the airport, required parking or other arrangements, the book now. See Parking Full sign when you can fly, you feel miserable and should not assume hotels have parking when kept rooms. If you're probably too late at home, you need to call and give rules for the collection of a button or a visit.

If you steal, you have the book you want to read, so you can activate the standby time to relax and not disappointed. Accept that things will take longer than normal and use your time.

If you drive, download podcasts or new music to make a big difference. If you go on a long trip with children in the car, a cheap, car DVD players can contribute to peace and goodwill.

If there is a guarantee for the summer travel season is that there is a dramatic outbursts at the airport and roads - and not talking about children.

At the airport, I remember the staff will do their best to get thousands of passengers on the right aircraft at the right time - not in the interest of the airline off slowly.

In the streets, it helps to remember that all other efforts to reach their destination and. Wearing Santa Claus hat to you, listen to music, which is to remember that the spirit of Christmas should be fun, not survival of the fittest.

BMW Dealership In Los Angeles – Finding An Automobile Has Never Been So Simple

Many factors involved when you see the vehicles to a delegation of BMW in Los Angeles. When looking for a car that you want a clear idea of the budget, is the model and options to be incorporated in the vehicle. It is often helpful to make a list before your visit to ensure that all requirements included in a family to find the right vehicle.

Technological progress will happen in such a fast pace, offering new features and security functions are often introduced on a seasonal basis. One of the many advances have been designers and manufacturers in recent years, developing engines that are environmentally friendly, not dependent on fossil fuels has.

Some cars are now equipped with engines that rely on solar energy and accelerate the production of hybrid vehicles further.
These vehicles operate primarily on the performance of batteries installed in the trunk. Some of these batteries should be plugged into an electrical outlet overnight to recharge the battery to power the next day again.

Another problem that occurred in the past with hybrid cars, the lack of power. Cars can easily climb mountains.
Nor could go at a pace suited to highway driving. Now, cars can easily lead to heavy traffic and easily navigate the mountainous terrain.

Many families who need a vehicle that can operate both as a functional family car and drive. These people need a vehicle used is a gas well and is small enough to go during commuting to work. However, we must accommodate the vehicle is in a position within the family while traveling with suitcases and other objects in tow.

Search for an accessible vehicle, which was slightly more than one operation is often difficult, can be used in the past. However, the manufacturer, claims many options for families are met. There are hybrid vehicles, up to eight people comfortably. There are also various types of vehicles, there is more interior space than before.

Vehicles of the family most recently designed with extra features that are built into DVD players in the back seat of the car. These players can withstand regular use by young children. They have touch screens, easy handling of the Car DVD player that can be easily fitted to the unit. In most cases, an owner of the Car DVD is close to the location where the child is.

Security features are the cars that do not have locks on the doors. These cars can be caused when the right combination to mitigate the keyboard is under the door. Newer vehicles have door locks that can be activated by a fingerprint. With advances in technology continue to build cars by the end of a standard car key.

Another security feature allows the car will be tracked by satellite, in case of theft or a car accident. It can be violated by the recording equipment, a person on a remote road easy to find. If the car is stolen, it can be monitored and the system is now integrated with police scanners.

With these exceptional cars and other options may be a representative of BMW based in Los Angeles to find the car. Decide now, what you want for your new vehicle is an important step to ensure you have full use of your money. Visit BMW dealer for more information.


Remnants of previous accidents litter the ground. Broken taillights and windshield glass glisten in the sunlight. A rearview mirror lies abandoned alongside the road. It is a beautiful clear day, the wind whistling through the overgrown grass in the nearby field where Joel’s car had landed. Several cars speed through the intersection, going well over the posted 45 mph. Other cars simply slow down at the stop light and continue through or completely neglect to stop at all. Joel recalls, “I remember the first time I came back here after the accident with the insurance adjuster. I looked around seeing glass from my windshield and broken pieces of my mom’s car. As we stood there for about 10 minutes discussing the accident we watched half a dozen cars neglect to stop at the light. Something has to be done. People just aren’t paying attention or just don’t care.”

Joel Delancy, a Garrett, Pennsylvania resident, was the victim of a distracted driving accident on December 3, 2007. A driver neglected to see two stop signs and double blinking lights on a clear day because he was switching his books-on-tape cassettes. The vehicle Joel was driving was T-boned and flipped several times before landing in a field. Joel was helicopter-lifted with a lacerated liver, spleen, and lung, which caused internal bleeding. He also had broken ribs, and many bruises and scratches. His two passengers, Matt Donaldson and Stephen Larue, were also taken by ambulance to the hospital with minor injuries.

While the boys did heal physically, the mental terror remained. Joel admits, “I was so angry when I found out that this accident was caused by a careless driver. You can see the stop lights for practically a quarter of a mile. He obviously was not paying attention for more than a few seconds. I almost lost my life and my passengers’ because of another’s negligent driving.” It took Joel several months to even drive past the accident site. The negligent driver was charged with reckless driving and failure to stop at a stop light and sign.

Delancy advises, “You must pay attention to the roadway and others. I did have passengers and the music on. However, as I approached the intersection, I saw him not even slowing down and started to react immediately. I counter steered, after being T-boned, away from a metal pole which could have killed us on impact. I remember hearing people saying that without our seat belts and my quick actions, we would have died. Always wear a seat belt; there is a reason they are put in your vehicle.”

Matt Donaldson, a passenger in that car, vividly recalls that day. He remembers, “We were just driving down the road and listening to Crossfade’s new song ‘I Never Meant To Be So Cold.’ We weren’t speeding and it was a clear December day. When we got hit and were flipping through the air, it felt like an eternity until we landed. We must have flipped several times. I just remember a slow motion feeling and really focusing on the song. It continued to play until we hit the ground and the engine stopped. It’s funny the way you remember things. Every time I hear that song, I go back to those seconds.” Matt, physically healed, also suffers the mental anguish that a traumatic event causes. It also took Matt a while to even ride past the accident scene. It is a moment that has changed his life. He will always wear his seat belt and be cautious on the roadway.

Distractions while driving are becoming ever more popular, increasing the risks for deadly consequences. Cell phones enable you to do everything from taking videos and pictures, checking e-mails, and text messaging to making calls while also creating a hazardous distraction when used on the roadway. Eighteen states, including Maryland and the District of Columbia, have created laws to ban texting while driving. Pennsylvania has not yet passed such a law. The intent is to avoid distractions that create vehicular accidents.

In a recent survey conducted among 80 students and faculty at Frostburg State University, nearly 96 percent of people said they had used a cell phone to make or receive a call while driving. Many people admitted that this is a fast paced world and one must multitask to get everything done. One said “I have a million things to do. I have to make calls while driving to get everything done.” Whether using the phone to talk while bored or to do business, this distracted driving can be a recipe for disaster. Some people are using hands free calling devices or having a passenger answer the phone. Others try to pull off the road or answer quickly and promise a returned call. Making and receiving phone calls was more of a problem than text messaging for those surveyed. However, text messaging seems to take the driver’s eyes off the roadway for a longer period of time.

Also, according to the same survey, almost 83 percent admitted to texting while driving. Many of the responses admitted to doing the deed, but also show regret or shame for it. One responder said, “I text while driving, but am trying to stop. I feel bad for doing it so often.” Many people said that they were working on not texting or using the cell while driving. Another responder stated, “I am working hard to stop this dangerous behavior.” Some admitted to texting only a few words to complete conversations. Others claimed to do so only when at a stop light or in stopped traffic. One responder claimed, “I only text while stopped in traffic. Sometimes the light changes, though, and I must finish the text while driving through the intersection.” Most responders stated that they used to text while driving, but since learning more of the dangers are trying to limit it. The most common distraction many see are others text messaging. 90 percent of the surveyed people felt that laws should be passed to make texting while driving illegal. One surveyed person admitted, “I want a law to be passed to make driving safer all around. However, I don’t know how often I would follow the law. It would be hard.”

Perhaps the best witnesses to the risky behaviors occuring on the roadway are other drivers. Michael Siciliano, liberal arts major at Frostburg State University, tries not to initiate phone calls and never text messages while driving. The senior from Lavale, Maryland, laughs and says, “I tend to look at texting while driving as kind of ridiculous. You do look at the cell phone and there is no way to keep your eyes on the road.”

Julia Vilece, a music management major at Frostburg State University, agrees that there is no way that you can pay attention to the road while texting. The junior from Ellicott City, Maryland, advises, “I just give my phone to my passenger. If you do that, then you aren’t playing with it. I just don’t do it because it is dangerous.”

Several people seemed to think that texting while driving is a bad idea, but really aren’t worried about it until something happens to their car. Twone Franklin, a mass communications major at Frostburg State University, says he doesn’t text while driving because he’s not a great texter, but does make and receive calls. The sophomore from Laurel, Maryland, admits, “I don’t worry about others. As long as they don’t hit my car, then I’m not worried about what they are doing. There shouldn’t be a law against this because people do need to get in touch with you sometimes when you are traveling.”

Doug Hersch, a mechanical engineering major at Frostburg State University, concurs that he doesn’t tend to worry about others. The junior, a commuter student from Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, says, “I don’t mind others using cell phones, if they can drive safely. But most people aren’t able to achieve this. Most people can’t multitask. But if they don’t hit my car, then I tend not to worry about the other drivers. There should be a law, but it’d be hard to follow. I talk on the cell phone all the time.”

John Difebo, a senior computer science major and commuter student from Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, agrees that there should be some type of law but that it would be hard to enforce. He says, “No outgoing data should be allowed; only incoming text messages should be read. You should be able to read the text, just not take the time to respond. A law would only be practical to enforce when checking the phone log after an accident does occur.”

Many organizations, including the American Automobile Association, are working to see these laws passed. Beverly Powell, director of communications for AAA East Central Pennsylvania, says, “As new technologies continue to develop they present more potential for distraction behind the wheel. These new distractions are dangerous for drivers of all ages, but are particularly hazardous of an inexperienced driver.” AAA hopes to pass such laws in all 50 states for drivers of all ages by the year 2013 as part of the “Heads up driving week: Try it for a week, do it for life” campaign which began on September 29, 2009. This week calls for the focusing of driving and avoiding distractions on the roadway. Powell also states, “AAA also feels it is important to educate the public through driver training, safety programs, and awareness campaigns on a broad range of distractions that may attract the driver’s focus away from the road.”

AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety aims to educate people about the dangerous consequences such distractions can create. The campaign is aimed at busy people who tend to multitask. The organization states that 8,000 crashes every day are connected to distracted driving, while also warning that using a cell phone while driving quadruples your risk of a crash. This foundation also offers tips for being a “heads up driver,” including stowing away all electronic devices.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, whose mission is to “Save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce vehicle related crashes,” has also created a two-day campaign to inform drivers of dangerous distractions. The NHTSA confirms that in 2008 on any given day, 80,000 cars were driven by people using a cell phone. There were also half a million injuries caused by a distracted driving accident in the year 2008. The two-day “Distracted Driving Summit”, held on September 30 - October 1, 2009, hoped to inform drivers of the under-recognized danger of using a cell phone or texting while operating a vehicle.

While Pennsylvania has no laws in effect yet, Maryland’s ban on texting while driving went into effect October 1, 2009. This law makes sending or receiving a text message while operating a vehicle illegal. The offense is considered secondary, meaning the driver must commit a primary violation such as speeding, running a stop sign, etc. before a police officer can pull the driver over. If convicted of this secondary offense, drivers will face a fine of up to $500. This law makes the activity a misdemeanor. The Maryland State Highway Administration recently released statistics that included 20,000 injuries related to distracted driving every year in the state.

The Maryland Highway Safety Administration also provides research that has compared texting while driving to a blood alcohol content of 0.16 percent; double the legal limit. The goal of this law is to prevent crashes and injuries and save lives. The organization feels it very important to inform motorists of the dangerous consequences associated with inattentive driving.

Lora Rakowski, of the Office of Communications for the Maryland State Highway Administration, adds, “Distracted driving can be deadly and the new texting ban while driving delivers an important message to the public that driving requires one's full attention. It's just about impossible to write and send a text message while following a key tenet of safe driving: keeping both hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road.”

To type out the text message, the driver must physically look down at the phone and take his/her eyes off the road for several seconds depending on the message size. The Maryland State Highway Administration website states that in the one second you take your eyes off the road while driving 65 mph, you will have traveled 100 feet. In those 100 feet of distracted driving, a number of complications could occur resulting in wrecks, injuries, or even fatalities. Since 93 percent of all accidents are caused by driver error, the Maryland State Highway Administration affirms that crashes are not accidents, but rather preventable and predictable.

Many car insurers are also urging the limiting of the use of cell phones and texting while driving. State Farm Insurance lists talking on the cell phone as a major distraction, especially for inexperienced teen drivers. State Farm also reports that nine out of ten teens commonly see other teens using the cell phone while driving. Sixty-six percent of teens also admit that they care about their parents’ opinions on cell phone use in the car. State Farm Insurance affirms that 25 percent of all crashes in the United States are caused by distractions, including the use of cell phones and text messages. However it can be difficult for an insurance agency to actually determine what caused accidents. Bryan Bozovich, State Farm Insurance agent in Somerset, PA, says, “From an agent’s perspective it is difficult to determine the extent to which mobile devices contribute to automobile accidents. The reason is that the majority of accidents that involve these types of distractions as the main cause of the accident are usually not reported to us in that manner. I would assume that there are a considerable number of motor vehicle accidents that are caused by these devices, but go undetected by insurance carriers due to the facts or cause of the accident being misrepresented at the time we take the initial loss report.” Insurance agencies such as State Farm may have difficulties determining if cell phones played a role, but do aim to inform their clients about these dangers to prevent accidents.

It’s important to note that while cell phones do seem to be the major distraction on the roadway presently, there are other risky behaviors that also cause accidents such as Joel Delancy’s. Distractions range from eating and drinking in the car, a behavior done for many years, to using Car GPS units or Car DVD players in the backseats. As the world becomes a faster paced place, people feel the pressing urge to multitask. Women are seen doing their hair and makeup going 65 mph down the interstate. Parents console children in the backseat, handing them toys or food, taking their eyes off the road for several seconds. There are always sights around the driver that are beyond his/her control such as construction zones, vehicle accidents, and scenery that also pose hazards. Each time a driver gets in the vehicle distractions can occur beyond his/her control or be created that could result in dangerous consequences.

Of those surveyed, many people wrote that they have seen other drivers eating, drinking, doing their makeup and hair, consoling children, and of course, using their cell phones. One astounding act that several people reported seeing was people reading books or papers in their laps. Some people recall drivers reading entire novels while looking up every few seconds at the roadway, making driving their second priority at hand.

Whatever the cause, distractions should be kept to a minimum. With technology ever increasing, cell phone usage and text messaging are creating a dangerous recipe for the roadway. Still other distractions are also dangerous such as eating and drinking, reading, playing with the radio or cassettes, and observing your surroundings. With eighteen states passing laws banning text messaging and many more working to do so, it is obvious that this distraction is being viewed as a very risky behavior. Drivers should buckle up, eliminate the distractions, and make driving their number one priority because distractions can, in fact, lead to dire consequences.

Delancy looks back now on the accident and states, “Everyone makes mistakes while driving. You try to be as cautious as possible. I’m a lot more cautious now. I was 16 when that happened and it gave me a life-changing experience. I understand mistakes on the roadway, but people must realize that one split second could have changed all three of our lives or even killed us.”

Studios Wise to Focus on Turning the Masses Blu

I hate cliches with a passion, but in this case there’s simply no better way to say it than this: The studios are finally putting the cart behind the horse instead of the other way around.
For much of last year, questioned the wisdom of comics ever more inventive options alive, if 1) Blu-ray Disc, there was regular and 2) the vast majority of people who have Blu-ray Disc had not strapped to the Internet . Exclusive content and menus of climate change is all very well, heres butCand another cliche, I feel obliged to usec studios seem to take a rich, over-the-top party, but nothing came.

But in recent months, theres a remarkable change in attitude in the studio, and welcomed me warmly. To save the new thinking, emotions and decorative items for later, when everyone has Blu-ray Disc, and instead focus on becoming a Blu-ray hardware and software in the hands of everyone and his brother.
The way to do this is simple: Focus on a compelling, the message is easy to see blu-ray center more video and audio (HDTV you need a disk HD) PhD work then how the devil bite masses.

To achieve this, we must move from one standard to DVD Blu-ray Disc so easy and simple as humanly possibleCand I have seen all of Hollywood lately seems to be a step in the right direction.

Price parity is definitely a big step. Especially in this economic environment, you may be required to pay $ 30 for a movie, especially if you should take the same movie on DVD for $ 15. The proverbial sweet spot seems to be less than $ 20 for youth and less than $ 10 on the list, and it is something to see. For those who still mourn the devaluation, keep in mind that if Blu-ray has Fang ON and fast start, we could not devalue any product.

The second important step that provides benefits to consumers by adopting a kind of hard to reach in all seasons. Recognize that even if a person Blu-ray Disc is not clear that HES will buy a Blu-ray Disc version of the standard disc DVD, because that person is probably a car DVD player in his car and his room and a DVD player in the laptop. At this stage, at least for consumers, should offer both, so I think that Disney pioneered complex package and universals Flipper disc in the morning.

Blu-ray, as soon as we anchor in the mainstream, we can always go back to jazz up the extras. Produce BD-Live features, the new fund and making coffee in the morning because of me. But first we must take care of the basics. And the easiest to see what exactly is the studio seems to do.

Relax by Car DVD player

There are many people in the car is not just a vehicle. In fact, they take them as a friend and we believe can help them overcome their problems. Obviously, this seems a silly idea, but it is especially when you consider that many people on a long journey with the same amount of stress. To overcome the path for your car and your stress, many treatments and medicines are there to help you through your anxiety. In fact, you can find drugs and alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, etc. You can find many people who opt for a special treatment process to resolve the tensions, but there are some that I renew a long journey for their opinion. It is a way to prove very stressful and you can try it yourself.
You should call a professional or expert to know the basics. They sit behind the wheel of your car easily in the street.
The more you stay in your car, the better it will prevent your blood pressure. Try it and see some amazing results. Uplifting your driving experience: There are now many people who believe that their car would be better off to get a better idea to walk. To this end, will install the fact that some parts like cold air intake, compressor, etc. In addition to improving performance, add others, like the censors of the park. This makes life much easier for you when you sit in the car. So when it comes to long trips, should be a factor in determining the quality of your car are not included.
Not selecting one of the many car DVD players, you can not simply create an impact on mood. This means that the quality of your car stereo or Car DVD is important to feel comfortable in your car. Car can always help you enjoy your trip in a better way, and DVD players can refresh yourself during a long journey. It is difficult to meet, there are several ways to improve the performance of your car, but should also pay attention to improving your driving experience. To achieve this goal, you should choose a perfect car DVD player. Not only that, you can enjoy the opportunity to lead quiet for a long journey, but also allows people with family or children. So think seriously about installing some of these parts in the car.


Keeping the children happy when driving

The first time we facing this huge dilemma, whereas the neighborhood store my game. A stressed mother came hoping to find some ideas to keep their children happy with a full album for the home of his parents. After working for six years before it has even a mother, it became clear that parents are totally against the daily issues of education often feel cold when it's time to put their children on long car trips. You have no idea how to avoid the collapse of chaos, Screaming lessons, and we always complain style. There is hope, and with a little planning, most if not all of these situations can be avoided.

Lets get the obvious diversionary tactics of the street so we can get things very well. A car DVD player with some classic favorites and new things never seen, although this is by age groups and personalities of your children, you know, try to work with new CI and what is best for both. Children's books on tape for you to bring podcasts and open your favorite music by your children is always a good idea. Considering the iPod and mp3 players are also an option, but you might want limits placed on them, be careful as so often happens, be sure to discuss these limits with children in advance. I think the same thing for games instead of hand-decorated Nintendo DS-C restrictions or switch will have advance directives to avoid future disputes.

Package about a month before the trip with a laundry basket and go through the house with two ideas in mind a) What activities games /) favorite and B can be completed in a car. For most young people want, you can not, let them know you are in this way for the elderly, could do about it. Well, now you have a lot to get the best and keep hidden until the trip so you can have games with a new complaint to be prepared, but negotiable favorites for your trip!
Some ideas, favorite card games, stuff, action figures, Polly Pockets and processors, games, travel, etc. is often not a bag for each child with their own, but has increased our family, I found it easier to stuck in a Fun-operate in the pocket, instead of dealing with too many things with his feet in the van.

First, take a trip to the nearest dollar and use thick, things to touch, as I am, sticky, stretchy toys, books, activity and coloring empty and investment laptop, noisemakers (It is better to have a harmonica as a child to listen cry) a little mystery in a book on a series to play the disks, magnetic sticker activities chewing gum if you have the mountains, to pop ears and my favorite, Glo-in - Drive the-dark necklaces, bracelets, etc., it is too dark to be sure something else C, non-toxic to the market during the second son, who tends to bite after an hour or two! We put them even around the hotel rooms as night lights for children to make their way in a strange room at night to navigate!

Share your kids toys C can help you! Auto Bingo is a classic in my family, just take the squares of paper with a big black marker and a ruler to draw four or five lines down, and even more, then save after a trip to the dollar stickers livestock, cars, trucks, road signs, animals, dogs, birds, cats, etc. in each box to see a map for all travelers, but not the driver, and children are easy things to mark their cards to see a line of C Bingo! Then the cards will arrive in the system and starts a new game. The best way to choose the laminated and then use a pen to mark and rub facial tissue.

Other games have hit red on the search for clean sheets, barn, horses, or counting the classic game Punch Buggy C-minus, offer space in our car. Another classic in my family, cue cards include a bridge with a cause, found worldwide. The traffic lights, railroad crossing, emergency vehicles, churches, speed limits, totem, animal crossing, petrol stations, favorite restaurants, etc. We have to play cards before and we have 3 at a time when you have a party your articles, put the card in turn, point and draw another card, the first five wins! These variations can steal any part of the values of various points or tickets show as a point card from another player, select a card and put it in the pile of your score to lose or gain a point of negotiation with the hands of other players, etc. Be creative and inventive, you can add sites or special arrangements for your trip!

Look for a final thought, stopping on the way to fun, free or cheap seats, it adds time, but for an unforgettable trip.
When our family with a record 21 hours, we decided that it lasts 3 days and remained for small museums, aquariums, a winery tour, a shopping center a person with a big old wooden horses - tour in Hershey, Pennsylvania, a park situation and other neat stops along the road.
Before your trip make a list of cities, traveling through Google and then see the region or one of the nice places to stop, which could be an ideal trip for your children. In these moments, when and where possible, much stress and boredom, a long trip with children for relief.

In planning ahead for fun, you can definitely find a happier family, and is a positive move for memories that last a lifetime. Happy Trails!


Two Men Wanted in Stolen Purse Case in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charleston Police are asking for your help to catch two men accused of using a stolen credit card.
On November 28 he saw the victim in the Marquee Cinemas Southridge in a movie, if someone in their truck and stole her handbag.

Charleston police said later in the night, the two men arrested on surveillance cameras with a credit card for the woman Southridge Wal-Mart.

Detectives say the men must sign an iPod with front and then went to the back of the store and tried to buy a car DVD player.
That's when the clerk refused to sell because there is a photo ID.

The total amount in this account will be charged at this time, $ 312.70, then the police.

This is the third time that this will be a few days. The day before, police WSAZ.com say two cars were at the Olive Garden near collapsed and two purses stolen. For now, police do not know if related cases.

If you have additional information about these cases, I invite you to Charleston Police Department Detectives at 304-348-6480 children.


Ways to improve the sound quality of your car audio

The truth is that if you just buy the car with no additional sound accessories, the sound quality of your car stereo system might not be the kind that you would like it to be. There is always room for improvement and the best part about modern technology is that this space is always welcome. This means that with this car audio system that comes with the car if you are satisfied with the performance and want to improve, there are many ways you can decorate your car audio system and you can access your Accessories and sound even better. A big hello from the sound quality of the system is as good as its weakest link.

The first thing to do if you return your car audio system to improve is to replace your existing speakers for the new. The fact is that the car, the manufacturer of your vehicle does not offer the best quality and the immediate improvement that can be said clearly by installing new speakers a big change in sound quality, the show will be produced. Because no matter how big your car audio system may actually be the sound that is played should be finally adopted by the speaker to be heard and this is not the kind of quality, based on your standards, then of course the overall quality of the audio output is poor. Thus, speaker replacement, you will find a world of good to find.

The next thing you or if the new version is the beneficial owner. As the speakers are very important for the kind of sound quality that will hold the key beneficiaries themselves as important to the overall sound quality is good. For better sound with no signs of distorted sound, or even an amplifier, a clear need to change the receiver, which should preferably be a receiver bought from a reputable manufacturer. The brand and quality of the receiver, will certainly impact the market for this type of sound to reach the end. The best receiver is the best option for the display type for the interface that you get the choice of songs is less annoying when driving and the best chance to run the sound from the car. The receiver of good quality can be enhanced by other audio sources, which can use a Car DVD player or radio receiver or something that is connected to the receiver, while the stereo sound makes the car even more flexible.
Another great way to improve sound quality in your car, you should do after this, add an external amplifier.


Guangzhou Auto Show, the car future from China

The 2009 Guangzhou Auto Show is the recognition by producers from the worlds of the importance of China on the future of the automobile.

In one example, Volkswagen has revealed that the China of the Tiguan Facelift for local production in February 2010.

Slight changes were made, by cutting around squared-off lines in the grille and front bumper, but is an indication of the seriousness of VW has individual tastes of a new growing market.

The Volkswagen is the biggest foreign car in China, has sold over one million cars in the first three quarters of 2009 with the goal of two million euros in 2018.
Last week announced that it had invested $ 1 billion U.S. dollars in a plant in Dalian in northern China is producing 300,000 DSG gearbox in 2010.

The General Motors has revealed two new vehicles in China than for him.

Standard features include adaptive headlights, parking camera and an electronic stability program and 15-speaker sound system, Car GPS three screens with Car DVD and TV functions.
The XT Excelle is also known as Yinglang come with a choice of three engines 4 cylinder petrol engine and six-speed Auto.

The German concept replaces the outgoing area Excelle, which was developed by Daewoo, and is an attempt aggressive but risky and expensive to raise the image of Buick in China.

And are local manufacturers Changfeng C C known for the SUV, the average passenger car market with the introduction of insight.

Yes, Acumen. The English word means mental acuity and speed of perception.
Changfeng mental acuity based on the Mitsubishi Lancer, was already in sedan and coupe form C, the last part of many data revealed the Evo.

It is available with three engines with 4 cylinders, but production has not stopped until 2011 to start.

The seventh annual Guangzhou Auto Show concluded on November 30.


GPS device can track your kids and others

Except Car GPS, in a demonstration of the Buddy Tracker toddler has a green field on a screen is an example of a region, a parent can keep an eye on a child from the GPS.

Especially with the high rate of kidnappings and abductions, now everything is to have a very good thing, said Diana Medina of Best Buy.

The GPS device is made by distinguishing sold to Best Buy. It sends an instant e-mail, text or phone alarm if the person you see in the cards designated for the area.

One idea, Kristin Cathey happy for 6 months Hadley.

But instead of a baby, Sheila Brown, who use their father said, was ho's disease Alzheimer.

My father was my child, my fourth child, and I really want to know where he is, he said.

However, the protection of privacy comes naturally.

I would like to use for my husband, said Cathey.

I do not remember, said Brown. My first concern is the safety of my father.


Be careful when vehicle burglaries increase during holidays

Purses, a camera and lots of merchandise are just a few of the items WSBT found in plain sight in cars at Wal-Mart.

"It can take less than a minute for them to take things out of a car," says Lieutenant Tim Williams of the Mishawaka Police Department.
Police say vehicle burglary is a crime of opportunity, and during this time of year there is plenty of that. Shoppers fill their carts with the latest gadgets and trends, and then fill their cars. Criminals know this and all they have to do is wait.
"Usually it is high dollar items. Anything that is easily accessible. If you leave something in your car and they can make off with it, they are going to do that," says Williams.
"We hear about it all the time," says Randy Neville.
Neville works at U.P. Mall, so stories about vehicle break-ins are nothing new. Especially since two years ago, thieves stole from him.
"It is pretty disappointing. I had a Portable DVD player under my seat and they stole my radio and DVD player. So it was very frustrating and very disappointing," says Neville.
The Kilgore Police Department would like to offer the following tips for preventing your vehicle from being burglarized during the holiday season:
Police say there are ways to avoid being a victim: Keep valuables and merchandise out of sight, make a trip home if possible, be on the lookout for suspicious people and report them to store management or police.

— Keep your car locked and, if possible, parked in a well-lighted area at night.
—Do not leave any valuables in your car. If you have to leave valuables in the car lock them in the trunk or hide them. A purse, shopping bags, Car DVD players or Car GPS device, left in your car, in plain view, simply invites the thieves to smash your window and steal them.
—Record serial numbers to any of your electronics and keep them stored in a safe place.

And, of course, police say don't make it easy for criminals. Lock your car. And most thieves will break a window if they see something of value, so make sure they don't.
Police say on average during the holidays they get about five vehicle theft reports a day. They expect that number to skyrocket on Black Friday.


GPS alarm seems useless

The alarming security of individual liberty is a Car GPS to their relatives who are vigilant in difficulty, but it seems like the only reliable man in another car whoappears increase to a point nearest to where you look.

The product is distributed to 79.95, but comes in a yellow box of Nice, which promises calm in the pocket.

The idea is to simply slide the switch on the key ring-sized device immediately alert you selected contact. But he can only do so if the application works yours mart phone, which must be removed within ten meters of each other, and were not overwritten by the application itself off.

To be fair, there were only a few accidents, but also to an application that promises to improve security. Even more disturbing was alertsent are still not in a position to succeed, even when functioning well, the very fortunate that it is to create a real emergency.

If you have a real emergency, it should probably someone called in our text processing. This may take some time, however, that we had installed car GPS.SOS a request for $ 20 Windows phones that not only sends GPS information, but also a change in our automated message, if we too busy fighting an attacker to call . Reply

Liberty argues that the device can operate without looking, and in a bag, and it is difficult to compensate by chance. All this is true, but it seems a small problem compared to the need to remain engaged, they will be achieved and the host application runs on a Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Symbian mobile phone all the time guaranteed.The company also says that the GPS is much moresensitive, which is probably true, given the favorable thrown GPS components in most smartphones.

Freedom Personnel Security also provides a function of the vote if the application will be executed if a message is formatted correctly by the contact of the right to trigger a reaction on the ground. It could possibleone be able to convince his children or other significant software installation, although it is difficult to imagine an application on the device would do the same for less money.

But perhaps we are too narrowly focused on the possible applications for the security of personal freedom.


Fw: Eonon E1057 Final Review

(This blog is written by an Eonon Car DVD customer, the souce is here: http://link-1111.blogspot.com/2009/11/eonon-e1057-final-review.html. )

Opening statement: Eonon E1057 special car dvd item was never intended to be installed into a Vios, but into my sister's 2007 Yaris Sedan. The Vios has practically the interior ripped out from a Yaris with all the same faceplates, harnesses, fittings and sizes.

Delivery: Very fast delivery to Australia. Item was ordered on the 8th and received on the 14th. Also the tracking number was provided and was sent by DHL (reliability in action)

Connections & First start: The wiring was a dream with the harness being a quick clip with no extra harnesses or material being required. Everything was done pretty quickly and installed without too much strain. Eventually was stressing a bit as pressing the volume button did not start the unit. Eventually realized the SRC button is the power button. (Only one thing the manual was good for) Boot up time doesn't feel like the 40 seconds stated on most Eonon HU's and is pretty fast. Layout of the headunit is great and placed very well. Also looks brilliant even when not installed. [10/10]

Videos and DVDs: Screen quality is GREAT. Practically all DVDs tested so far are playing on this unit. Playing movies is brilliant on this screen with 6.2" not being too small for looking nor too big for the dash. Regardless, there is a tiny bit of grain on the image which pulls the point down by .5. The grain isn't too obvious, but being pedantic, I have to comment. [9.5/10]

Radio & Audio: One word to describe the audio. BRILLIANT. An awesome upgrade from the factory stock headunit, sounding clearer and louder on the stock speakers than before. I have pushed the speakers and haven't got any distortion before we deemed it too loud at 11pm and turned it down. The radio running through the stock antenna is great as well. It picks up channels I didn't even know existed! Elsewards, easy to navigate and use. [10/10]

USB & SD: Quickly syncs track names etc to the HU. Would have been good having the USB connection on the rear and running a hidden cable to a different location. Also the interface when exploring the USB is badly organised. The scroll bar is tiny and hard to navigate around folders and files. [7/10]

Bluetooth: Easy to pair to mobile phones, quick transmission with incoming phone calls. But the microphone is lacking and doesn't pick up much so need to use the microphone on the phone still. [7/10]

GPS: GPS unit was included and is a little bit bulky having to have the GPS box AND a receiver, where it would have been good having the GPS box integrated into the HU and having the blanked out slot at the front as the GPS SD card. Other than that, boot up time for GPS is decent and the interface is great and easy to use (Using PolNav). The GPS is easy to use, high quality and decent at recalculating routes. Also picks up the GPS signal REALLY fast, compared to my handheld GPS unit. [10/10]

TV: To tell the truth, TV was one of the most time consuming and irritating things to configure. The manual has nothing on how to wire it and also looking on the forum didn't have any answers, so by taking assumptions and plugging the one tv cable, you are left with 2 other cables in the end. Tried grounding these and spent hours trying to work it out before giving up and disconnecting the tv antenna. A better explanation would be good and statements for which PAL to use (there is PAL M, I, N, BG etc) I'll give 1 point for atleast having a tv connection. Hopefully I will be able to work out how to wire these connections and the TV segment will work [Incomplete/10 giving a 1/10. Hopefully will rise after getting the connections working]

Manual: Honestly...utterly useless. Unit it simple to use and the manual states alot of "functions and what they do" not really much on trouble shooting, wiring, etc. Also, the english version isn't that good and usually leaves you feeling frustrated of laughing at the lingo. [1/10 for trying]

Installing faceplate + headunit into dash: Using the stock brackets which came with the stock headunit didn't align up with all 4 holes on the headunit, but the main 2 were aligned and those would hold it in place. Attaching the airvents onto the aftermarket faceplate was a little difficult and you always feel like you are going to break something. Eventually fits in perfectly and flush, just like stock (never going to do that again). Installing the faceplate into the dash was the difficult part. It was very twitchy trying to get in and required alot of pushing (clicks easily in place with the stock surround faceplate though) but eventually got everything except the bottom two clips in all the way. There is a slight incline due to the bottom clips not fitting properly and the color is SIMILAR but not 100% but in the end, it still looks like a stock install. [9/10]

Support and Warranty: Brilliant knowing that you have 2 years warranty afterwards incase the item plays up or anything. Live support to Clara was great, friendly, quick to respond and redirected me in the right direction. Email support is a little lacking though, taking an extended time for replies (still waiting on a reply sent 2 weeks ago to ask if the unit will fit into a Yaris...regardless as it will be a little late since it's already bought and installed. Hopefully doesn't take too long for a reply on how to fix the tv antenna) [7/10]

Final score: 71.5/100 and due to increase once Eonon contact me regarding the TV


New Road GPS takes control of his car .Road Trips makes it easy?

The endless search for ways to improve our daily trip to the many interesting and unique ideas led. While many are less possible, sometimes it happens and thatjust might be able to make a difference. The Car GPS based Sartre systemmay can join this elite league of automotive innovation.

Sartre, is a shortened version of the train of road safety on the environment and, as the name suggests, based on the use of a large group in supporting the movement of vehicles based on moving efficiently. It begins with the first vehicle withthe which is essentially a prerequisite equipped car or truck, to communicate with other vehicles that can use the system.You drive on the streets and be able to take control of othervehicles with the permission of the driver, of course, and go mainly to the head.

This system will allow a maximum of nine vehicles travel at a relatively constant speed with a relatively short distance between them. If a vehicle is approaching a desired outcome is itsintention the signal and then wait form a small gap. Once the vehicle enough room to get out of Platoon , just take control of his vehicle and leave the highway.

The system is currently being tested in a handful of test tracks in Europe. The test will eventually make its way to the road network, but only after proof of their reliability.


The Future is Focus-ed: Ford to Bring 10 Focus Variants to U.S. Over Next Three Years

Jim Farley, Ford’s marketing chief have talked about the future of small cars in the U.S.
Ford Grand C-Max

What are the chances of U.S. success for the Grand C-Max small minivan?
The Mazda 5 has proven that such a vehicle could be very interesting for U.S. customers. During the [2008] escalation of fuel prices and also in August with Cash for Clunkers, Mazda sold more than 2000 a month with virtually no marketing. The number two in-source customer base for that vehicle is Ford customers. Given [the 5's] distribution with no marketing, we could easily double that for a Ford with mass-media marketing. The fact of the matter is that we have a glaring hole in our lineup in the U.S: If you want to buy a three-row Ford and you have $25 grand to spend, there’s nothing to buy.

When I was at Toyota, we sold a lot of minivans, but with an Odyssey, or a Sienna, or even the Korean products, a vehicle with leather and a Car DVD player in the back is at 30 grand. Three-row products in the U.S. are very scarce and they’re very expensive. I think if we do a well-executed car like a Mazda 5 that gets great fuel economy—and if fuel goes where we think it will, priced like it was [in 2008], which is a scenario we see over the next five or six years—we think it’s going to be a really wonderful product for us. Plus, there are also all these people in their 30s who are now starting to have kids and they don’t get hung up on all of the classifications that we do.

I think the future of those upper-body variations of C-segment cars is really our future. What we saw in August was that one out of three vehicles sold in the U.S. was a B- or C-segment vehicle. We saw a similar spike in segmentation the previous summer.

Why C-Max instead of the bigger S-Max that’s sold in Europe?
The fact is that C-Max is a vehicle we are engineering now. S-Max is in the market in Europe today, but until we bring the platforms together between Mondeo and Fusion, we really don’t have the ability to globally manufacture the vehicle where we want to. Part of it is an engineering and manufacturing story, but the biggest motivation is the customer base. Toyota was successful in this country because they bet on the C/D segment and on the upper-body variations of that platform—the Highlander and the Camry, Avalon, Lexus ES and RX, all off the same platform. Ford’s bet is different. When the C/D segment took off, gas was $2.00 a gallon, but we think that with gas at $5.00 a gallon, the C-segment is going to be the most interesting for customers in the U.S. We saw two data points that were really encouraging to us and, frankly, we have a competency in doing these vehicles. In the next three years, we are going to launch 10 versions of the Focus [platform]. I feel that 20 years from now, an Accord or Camry will feel like a late-1970s domestic car and our global products coming to the U.S. will feel a lot like Hondas used to be.

Where does the Fiesta fit in and how are you going to position it and price it relative to Focus?
We want to position the Fiesta as a vehicle with a very different character. The basic personality of Fiesta is very different from Focus or Fit or Yaris. It’s not a commodity product, and we’re not trying to please everyone. It’s a product with a design that tells people you don’t want a washing machine.

People in the U.S. are buying much more expensive B, C, and C/D cars. Look at the transaction price over the past five or six years: Civic is a $20,000 car, Fit is a $16,000 or $17,000 car. The Corolla is a $15,000 car and the Camry is a $17,000 or $18,000 car. The reality is that you don’t have to make a car that’s for everyone. Mazda 3 showed that. If you make a car with a strong personality, there will be a group of people who really appreciate it. And if you combine that unique personality with our dynamics, and our design, and our technology, and you offer specification levels that attract buyers from segments above you, there’s a huge number of downtraders in the U.S. There’s a lot of downsizing going on, not just because of the economy but because of a lot of other reasons, one of which is that the products have got a lot better.

Our take? Well, there’s little doubt that gas prices will go up when the world’s economies start recovering from the funny-money-induced meltdown we’ve just experienced, and future CAFE rules will encourage the purchase of smaller vehicles. But betting on C-segment cars in America is definitely risky in the short term.

As for those 10 Focus-based cars, here’s our best guess as to their future identities: Focus sedan, wagon, three- and five-door hatchbacks, and convertible/coupe; Kuga/Escape and Mercury Mariner small SUVs; C-Max and Grand C-Max mini-minivans; and a Lincoln premium small car, perhaps based on the C concept from the ‘09 Detroit show.


Gallery: Top 5 car technologies

CNet has played with a lot of car technology and for the most part has tried them all. Here’s a look at its top rated car technologies.

The back up camera: CNet says: After a century of using a glass mirror to try and not hit things when backing up, rear view cameras are finally becoming common on cars. Essential on SUVs and vans, but also useful on sedans, the image from a back-up camera shows you what you can’t see in the mirror: your rear bumper.

And the image:

The blind spot warning: CNet says: Blind spot warning systems show a warning light on the side view mirror when a car is sitting in your blind spot. When you look at the side mirror to see if it is safe to change lanes, it is very reassuring to have that extra set of eyes that see where you can’t.

And the image:

Car GPS with traffic detours: CNet says: Navigation systems are great, and have become very common. But they are much, much more useful when they can tell you about bad traffic jams ahead, and suggest a detour.

iPod and MP3 integration: CNet says: Good iPod integration lets you plug in the device, then browse your music library on the Car DVD player or Car monitor. You should be able to select music the same way you do on your iPod: by artist, album, genre, playlist, or track.

Bluetooth phone integration with voice command: CNet says: A few companies, Ford, Kia, and Lexus so far, not only have the Bluetooth system copy your phone’s contact list, but also include voice command that lets you place a call merely by saying a name in that contact list.

Hybrid powertrains as an honorable mention: CNet says: We give gas-electric hybrid powertrains an honorable mention here because they offer the best of both worlds: more power and better fuel economy.


New 2010 Cadillac DTS review

The 2010 Cadillac DTS is Cadillac's largest vehicle, one that's traditionally been the basis for Presidential limousines and all sorts of "black cars"-from airport transportation to, er, hearses. Nonetheless, it has some retail fans that appreciate its immense room, luxurious interior, and formal styling. With a base price of around $47,000, it's not a competitor for similar sedans from Germany or Japan at all. Instead, the few cross-shoppers who look elsewhere probably will study the Lincoln Town Car and the Chrysler 300.

In keeping with its conservative shape and its old-school seating, the 2010 DTS appeals to buyers who want a large, cushy sedan. The look is formal, but it does wear some of the cues of more recent Cadillacs-like the enormous grille and wreath-and-crest badge. It's angular and not aero-looking in the least, and though it's still reasonably handsome, the DTS is beginning to appear dated. TheCarConnection.com expects the replacement for the DTS-the 2013 XTS-to look significantly more rounded, like Cadillac's Sixteen concept car. Inside the 2010 DTS, the cabin seems fairly modern to the eyes and to the touch. Big gauges are framed by a wood-trimmed steering wheel in some editions, and there's wood trim across the dash and door panels. The tall center stack of controls sports a big touch-screen LCD for navigation and audio functions. Touches of metallic trim glint around the cabin, and in all, the DTS' cabin is distinctly more tasteful than you might expect in the class.

The 4,000-pound DTS is front-wheel-driven and offers a choice of closely related V-8 engines. There's a 275-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 or a 292-horsepower version of the same engine, and both come with an outdated four-speed automatic. They limp along with lower fuel economy as a result; the base version gets 15/23 mpg, while the hearse versions get 12/16 mpg-not that you'll need to care. The 2010 DTS accelerates fairly well in a straight line and responds quickly enough to requests for power, but the lumpy shift quality and the battle between power and weight tends to favor weight. The front-driver doesn't have much torque steer, though. Handling is not the calling card of the DTS; base versions steer adequately and have a well-cushioned, emotionless ride quality. Magnetic Ride Control is standard on luxe versions, and it refines the ride and handling, giving reasonably good responses to the big sedan in spite of a very smooth, softly tuned ride. Still, steering is almost completely without feel, and the big Cadillac has a big, SUV-like turning circle of at least 42 feet. Brakes are smallish 12.7-inch rotors in front and 11.5-inchers in back; 17-inch wheels are standard, while 18-inchers are standard on the top Platinum edition.

The 2010 DTS comes in standard or long-wheelbase editions. The DTS-L stretches eight inches to increase the already vast interior room. The base version offers two bucket seats in front-"bucket" is a loosely defined term here, just like the seat itself-and a floor-mounted shifter. The 2010 DTS can seat five full-size adults comfortably, with plenty of head- and legroom to spare. A six-seater version gets a front bench seat and a column-mounted shifter. In either case, the wide, flat seats are slippery and unsupportive, just a little less so in the five-seat edition. It's retro comfort-plenty of space in all directions, with no urge to pocket passengers in for a fun ride. Trunk room seems a bit small; at 18.8 cubic feet, it's a couple of cubes down on the 2010 Ford Taurus' massive 20-cubic-foot trunk.

Six airbags and a long list of safety systems are standard, including anti-lock brakes, as well as traction and stability control. However, the 2010 Cadillac DTS earns slightly subpar four-star crash ratings from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) for front and side impacts and for rollover. A lane-departure warning system and a blind-spot alert system are options, along with front and rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control.

For 2010, the DTS remains largely unchanged except for two new colors, new heated mirrors, and an optional rear-seat Car DVD entertainment system. Remote Start is standard; so are AM/FM/CD/XM audio, dual-zone automatic climate control, OnStar, and five-passenger seating with a floor-mounted shifter. Popular options on the DTS are packaged together; there are choices of heated and cooled front seats, XM NavTraffic, a Bose Centerpoint sound system, a sunroof, and rear sunshades.


What Do You Want in a Web-Connected Car?

If your car had a fast, always-on Web connection, how would you want to use it?I I wondered about this last night, as I sat in an "LTE Connected Car" promoted by Alcatel-Lucent and other members of the "ng Connect" program.

The car, a modified Toyota, had four screens, one for the driver and three for passengers. Each was running special software that would allow passengers to choose their own entertainment options.

As you would expect, there were driving directions (tied into a GPS) for the driver. And instead of picking your music only from CDs or a local station, you could also use Pandora or another Internet music source.

The LTE Connected Car could let passengers watch videos from YouTube and other Internet sources and buy video on demand. (Thankfully, video would be disabled for the driver when the car was in gear, and passengers in the backseat would hear their audio via Bluetooth headsets, so as not to distract the driver.) And of course, you could surf the Web, checking out the current weather and nearby points of interest, for example.

Representatives at the event said the car could handle four simultaneous HD video streams, and indeed, what I saw looked quite good. The streaming of both audio and video was provided via the LTE standard, a "4G" standard designed for wireless data streaming that nearly every wireless carrier (with the notable exception of Clearwire in this country) as endorsed. LTE hasn't been rolled out yet--Verizon is planning its rollout for the end of next year--so this demo was done with a base station just a few feet away; it wasn't really a test of LTE connectivity but more a demo of what could be done if you assume great connectivity.

The demo was prepared by the ng partners, including Alacatel-Lucent (which makes LTE hardware), QNX Software Systems (which created the basic software), Toyota Motor Sales, Atlantic Records, Chumby, and Kabillion. A real system is years off, though, because it would require a broad rollout of the LTE service, modified cars, and a business model that made sense.

For instance, you'd obviously need to pay for an LTE connection to your car, and it's unclear whether that would be the same service as for your handset. (In this demo, the car became a Wi-FI hot spot, so that may be a way around it, at least for when you are in the car.) Services like video on demand are typically pay services, so they'd probably have to be designed with different price points depending on whether you'd want to rent the movie or buy it; or want it for the car only, or also for your handset, or maybe your TV at home.

A lot depends on what car companies, wireless operators, and content providers choose to offer. But clearly, price and capability will be key. I'm willing to pay for a fast wireless connection to my handset (and my guess is most of the people reading are too), but the car service would provide a bigger screen and features designed for the automotive environment.

And there are services I would like: A bigger screen for Car GPS, real-time traffic, and reliable streaming music over good speakers and Car DVD player are certainly worth something.


In The Future, Your Car Will Know All About You

You may think that your Car GPS has a superior attitude now, but imagine if you could see its expression as you take a wrong turn for the seventh time. A new "driving companion" adds a little personality to your directions.

The Affective Intelligent Driving Agent, or AIDA for short, is the result of a collaboration between Audi and MIT to try and find a way to humanize the relationship between nagging automated systems and a frustrated driver... by adding a face to the nagging systems:

A laser projector the size of a deck of cards is mounted inside the head and projects colour graphics to create expressions on its "face". According to Mikey Siegel, part of a team at the MIT Media Lab collaborating with Audi to design AIDA, the versatile neck and face allow the robot to make a wide range of human-like gestures that can send subtle signals to the driver. A downturned face with pleading eyes, for example, indicates that AIDA is "worried" because the driver has failed to buckle the safety belt.

It's not only when seat belts are left unbuckled that it'll plead with you, however; the entire car will help it spy on you to know what mood you're in:

It uses sensors inside and outside the car to pick up clues about the driver's state of mind: grip strength and skin-conductivity sensors in the steering wheel, for example, tell the robot when the driver is tense. AIDA also uses GPS logs of a driver's travels to learn favourite locations and suggest better routes.

Yes, the future of Car GPS is part friendly robot, part driving-centric lie detector. And it's not just Audi who're working on this; according to New Scientist, both Nissan and Pioneer are already working on similar systems.


2009 Lexus GS350 AWD redesigned and advanced

The Lexus GS model was redesigned in 2006, and is one of Toyota's most advanced vehicles in technology. For 2009 there have been no significant changes made to the GS luxury sedan. I test drove the all-wheel drive model for the week which is well suited for Denver's climate and mountain roads along the front range.

The GS 350 is thoroughly enjoyable to drive. The V6 is quite responsive, and according to Lexus, the GS 350 will go from 0 to 60 mph in an impressive 5.7 seconds and with all-wheel drive it gets an EPA-estimated 18/25 mpg. The all-wheel-drive GS 350 features a fast-acting, clutch-type center differential that sends 70 percent of the power to the rear wheels under normal circumstances to help foster the dynamics of a rear-wheel-drive car. When wheel sensors detect slippery road conditions, as much as 50 percent of engine power is diverted to the front wheels to increase the car's overall traction on the road.

I felt completely safe in a recent snowstorm up near Evergreen.
The GS 350 features a 303-hp, 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed automatic with manual shift gate. The V6 is very responsive and just plain fast. The six-speed automatic transmission goes through the gear changes virtually undetectable. The GS is a performance car, and with 303 horsepower, it will appeal to driving enthusiasts. The all-wheel-drive version of the GS 350 handles a wide range of weather conditions well and doesn't seem to offer many compromises in terms of speed, handling or even fuel economy.

I like the GS 350 for its balanced handling and overall performance. The 17-inch wheels provide good ride quality but 18-inch tires are available to provide more cornering grip for drivers who feel they need it. The all-wheel-drive model feels surprisingly maneuverable due to its rear wheel drive bias under normal conditions.

Inside, the Lexus GS comes very well equipped. Standard equipment on the GS 350 includes thick leather upholstery and color-coordinated wood trim (golden or gray bird's-eye maple, or red walnut); dual-zone automatic climate control; interior air filter; power tilt/telescoping wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; cruise control; heated 10-way power-adjustable front seats; memory for the driver's seat, mirrors and steering wheel; trunk pass-through; heated auto-dimming power exterior mirrors with tilt-down back-up aid; power windows; power locks; SmartAccess keyless access and starting; sunroof; remote engine starting; auxiliary audio input jack; vehicle information system with a seven-inch touch screen; Bluetooth wireless cell phone link; auto-dimming rearview mirror; universal garage door opener; power trunk closer; automatic HID headlights; theft-deterrent system; fog lights. The GS 350 AWD has P225/50R17 all-season run-flat tires.

My test vehicle was equipped with the optional Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound system ($3,630), developed especially for the GS interior. Utilizing 5.1 surround sound playback via a 7.1-channel speaker topology, its 330-watt amplifier sends the sound through 14 speakers via 11 channels of amplification. It even plays DVD movies on the seven-inch screen when the car is parked.

The technology in the GS is the most advanced in the industry. The Car DVD-based navigation system is impressive with its information for more than 6 million points of interest, and the route searching is conducted at ten times the speed of previous-generation systems. The screen has excellent resolution and the map images have three-dimensional shading to aid recognition. Voice recognition makes the system completely hands-free once you figure out how to use it. For me, one week with the car is not enough time to understand all the technology.
The Bluetooth-compatible telephone system can be operated by voice command also, or through the seven-inch touch screen. The Lexus GS combines all this technology with lavish, luxurious appointments. The Lexus GS may be finally catching up with its German competition.


Ipone as GPS, the good, the bad, and good again

This is the tale of how I almost stopped using my iPhone as a Car GPS unit and how the right app and a better idea of how to use it changed my mind. Here is what happened.

When the iPhone gained its GPS capabilities I was excited to use is for navigation. Using Google maps worked well enough but certainly was not a replacement for standalone unit. Then a host of new third-party GPS applications began to appear and I became more excited about using the iPhone as my only GPS unit. That didn’t last very long. I was heading to a wedding I was officiating in New York when things went more than a bit array.

I was using the iPhone as my GPS unit and all was going well enough at first. I had put in the location of the wedding venue, the GPS app had set the route and was giving my great directions. Then the phone rang. It was an emergency. I had to take the call. Unfortunately, since the iPhone does not permit background applications. As a result, the phone ringing kicked me out of the GPS application. I was on the call for seven minutes and during that time the highway split. I did not have the GPS app’s guidance so I had to choose. I chose wrong. But it got worse.

When I got off the phone I tried to relaunch the GPS app. The app launched but for some reason I wasn’t able to get a GPS lock. As a result I took yet another wrong turn. Two wrong turns turned into three wrong turns. Three wrong turns turned into seven wrong turns and by the time I was able to get the GPS tracking back online I was so far out of my way that it was going to take me double the time I had actually planned in order to get to the wedding. Fortunately the bride and groom running just as far behind as I was so when I finally got there they were just pulling up as well. The rest of the wedding went off without a hitch but on the way home I had more trouble locking in on a GPS signal. Once again I got lost but at least this time I didn’t have to actually have people depending upon me getting there at a specific time.

The experience was awful and I thought that I was completely and totally done using the iPhone as a GPS unit.

Then I decided to try it again.

This time I was officiating at a funeral that was taking place in Manhattan with the burial occurring out on the tip of Long Island. The Car GPS/iPhone combination doesn’t work well for me when a phone call comes in (due to Apple’s restriction on background applications- thanks Apple) but by this time I was using my Blackberry Bold as my phone and my iPhone as an “always connected pocket computer”. This allowed me to use the iPhone ONLY as a GPS unit. It worked beautifully.

The next time I began using the AT&T Navigator app instead of the Navigon resident app I had been using. I liked it but continued to have times when it seemed to have a hard time locking into a GPS signal. The Navigator app (powered by Telenav) not only has been providing me excellent directions but the rerouting feature is awesome and has saved me a number of times recently. Yes, it relies upon having an ongoing data connection but the fact that it doesn’t sit resident on your iPhone, easily updates traffic and seems to get a GPS lock with tremendous speed are all huge benefits. Check out Chris and my review first look from a few months back and his recent update post for more details. (My thanks to the folks at Navigon for allowing me to trial the app again.)

I’ve now been using the iPhone as my sole GPS unit for a while now. I’m back to using the AT&T Navigator app exclusively and it hasn’t failed me once.

So what lessons do I take from this? First, it takes the right app to make something work the way you need it to work. Second, the “right” app may be different for one person than it is for another. Third, until the iPhone can run an app or two in the background make sure that when using the iPhone as a gps you know what the next turn is before taking a cal.

Keep the eye on this site for the next few days for a chance to win an opportunity to check it out yourself!