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September 30, 2015

VoomPC Enclosure - Your Case Has Come


There are few things finer than a milled aluminum, anodized case. It just inspires you to do something cool with it. I've seen a lot of car PC installs, many of which use some sort of plastic case not made for automotive use. The problem with cases not made for vehicle use is... wait for it... they aren't made for your car. They are made for 120V power supplies and don't have little tabs for mounting. Small details, but important is you're going to bother to spend money, effort, lean muscle, on the project. It's not a place to skimp.

A few companies have made car specific cases but have also charged silly amounts of money for the privilege. Until now.

Mini-Box sent me their VoomPC enclosure to check out. The case they sent me is pretty much everything you could want for a car computer.

A DC to DC converter from Mini-Box is also available en-suite. The converter makes nice with the 12V automotive system that has never seen a need for keeping consistent voltage and such nonsense. It will allow the computer to sense when the car is on, cranking, turned off etc and lets you decide what you want the PC to do.

The case is blue anodized aluminum with heat dispersing fins. It's only as big as it needs to be without making you worry about internal clearance. It's secured to something, um, secure, with 4 tabs. All of the tabs are easy to get to and even come with little rubber bushings which I suppose help with vibration. We all know that vibration = bad for electronics.

More after the jump...

The internal fan connects to a motherboard fan power jumper. That little fan is mounted at the end of the case allowing for an even cross flow. The bottom of the case slides out completely allowing you to build the entire system on the sheet of metal and simply glide it into the case. A panel on the end holds the port bracket in place and also connects to a power socket. This is where I am completely smitten with the box. Most enclosures are not modeled after car audio amplifiers which are proven designs. The power socket here is car-audio design all the way. It clips into place allowing for clean installs and easy maintenance without having to detach and reconnect wires over and over.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2015

Wonder Twin Powers Activate! (Service Not Included)


I know this isn't strictly mobile stuff but since it's XM related and DirecTV WILL be in your car soon, it's good to know, ya know?

DirecTV and XM have decided to "be more than friends" and possibly friends "with benefits". XM already plays Discovery, CNN and even the lie ridden Fox News channel. DirecTV has lots of channels up in the 16,000 range that have music on them. Yeah, it's true, I've surfed up that high once to see if the remote would explode. It seems that DirecTV thinks that the XM branded stations will be more of a draw. I suppose it will. I also suppose it's not big woop to transmoogify the networks together to share. Yeah, I'm makin' up words, wanna fight about it?

Anyhoo, it seems like a win win except for those of us who have a home XM receiver which now gets about 30% more of the programming than offered on the DTV box, making it a strange value proposition. I think XM should let DTV have access to the whole suite and let us off the hook for terestrial XM units. That Polk XM receiver is silly expensive.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 06:19 PM | Comments (0)

Something Wicked Rugged This Way Comes

In marketing land, when you want to show people that something is rugged you make it yellow. That is the official color of tough things. Waterproof things are orange (or clear), and red is for heat resistant stuff. That's the law, and he who breaks the law...

Parvus is releasing a "rugged" mobile touch screen system for those of us who wear steel gauntlets while driving (see Superheros or Knights). I suspect it's also good for the intended purpose, industrial / commercial vehicles. Not as cool as a metal pudded jouster but it should do fine for the likes of us.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2015

iBug - Not Another iSomething

The new beetle is far down on the list of cars I like. In fact it's not on the list at all. It's about as close to Japanese Schoolgirl design tech as you can get, less the Sanrio gomi strewn all over it.

On the bright side, there is a PC in there. Not only is it in there, the installer did a pretty amazing job. I guess that has to do with his previous experience installing an Atari 1200XL in a Dodge Shelby Charger. I kid you not.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

Ford F350 CarPC - Geek Torque Deluxe SLT

Dashboard Monkey brings us a particularly clean truck PC install. THis guy took lots of photos, added captions and even made a neat little slide show. He even uses Mobile Impact for a UI which is my current flavor of the month.

I know that providing pics for every post is not my strong suit but this time it's not my fault, he burried his photos in Flash. Dag-gummit!

Posted by Lionel Felix at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2015

Bizarro World Crashes Into Non-Bizarro World

New Treo Today. Ok, fine, we get excited, people drop large coin to be the first to touch one. Life goes on.

Not quite. We all got the Crying Game treatment with this little gadget. We were all expecting, rightly so, to see a Palm OS on a Palm device. That's not too much to ask for, its a normal, completely sane expectation. Then they drop the bomb, Windows Mobile 5.0 and then I did that thing I do... I jump up and scream "Hell Yeah! right on! That rules!" while everyone else is dumbfounded. You see, I LOVE Windows Mobile, I love the UI, I love the functionality, I just love it. My MPX200 Smartphone rocked. I've had a few Palm devices and over time they became clunky and complicated.

Yep I said it. The Palm OS is clunky. It's like the old Apple OS. You have to hunt high and low to find anything, setting are strewn hither and yon. It's all just terribly silly and pointless.

This new WinPalm fully r0x0rs and once you get your hands on one you'll agree, even if its a begrudging agreement.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

The Future of NAV

Navigation is boring. Booooooring. Zzzzzzzz. The best systems are barely "simple" to use, POIs are from before the great flood and maps are not as accurate as they could be.

Location based services, something I am screaming about, is the future. Simply put, the navigation system you have now is dead. The resurection will be that of a portal, a symphony of live POI updates, personalization, suggestion, real-time traffic, current maps and so much more. Telecontar and "AND" are partering up to make that future a little closer to now.

Ok, im bored waiting... Someone buy me a pony before I get sad and we ALL suffer.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

Navteq Uses Smart Outsourcing

Why hire smart people when you can get them to give you their smart ideas for free? Ok, not free, they offer up cash rewards.

Navteq is hosting their yearly challenge in San Fran. Don't let me make it sound all sinister, the prizes are pretty huge and contestants can mingle with other mapping software develpoers.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2015

Ciao Bella WiFi


Italy, once the center of global power, home of Caesars, birthplace of modern architecture and engineering. A few millenia later, men with too much hair product, chasing American women tourists around on Vespas. How the mighty fall.

Now don't get me wrong, the Italians make the finest suits, shoes and cars. Well, the suits are obscenely expensive as are the shoes and calling their cars the "best" is a little stretch. They are quite fast but seem to like being on the lift more than on the road.

It's not looking good for the boot shaped country... Wait, they have wicked WiFi on the highway! You see, I can say something nice once in a while.

The article mentions some "sharing" technologies that can be leveraged. While that's all fine and nice to talk about, it's pie in the sky for a few more years. Don't get me wrong, we'll have P2P on the roadways but saturation point where it's useful is a waaaaaay off.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 09:33 AM | Comments (2)

September 23, 2015

When You Install A Car PC, Terran Wins

Terran Brown, a celeb in the Car PC space is now writing "stuff" for CarTFT. It seems that our offer of "lots of work and we don't pay you" didn't match what CarTFT put on the table. Perhaps I should have ponied up the half bag of sour gummy bears I had in my desk drawer. Hindsight is 20/20.

Click the link above to check out his first article. Then come back here and read more. CONSUME!!!

Posted by Lionel Felix at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)

Cheap MP3 Juke

Amazon is wholesale ditching a bunch of Rockford Fosgate MP3 juke boxes.

I've never used one but it seems like a good bet for $100.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2015

A decade late and $100,000,000 short

What's all this nonsense about HD radio? Radio is so dead, its... Um, (something clever)! Yeah! I don't understand, perhaps the schlock slingers at Clear Chanel are mind melding and trying to come up with ways they can continue to fill the airways with the mindless crap from Mariah, Brittney and that other bimbo.

I have an idea for radio, how about less than 22 minutes an hour of commercials? How about banning commercials that are so annoying people change the channel. How about good programming and less DJ chatter. No one cares about DJs. It's true. Not even DJs.

The problem with radio isn't technology, its greedy, corrupt tin-eared executives. As is the case with most floundering industries. HD radio is just going to make that crap a little clearer. Great, clear crappy music. Rad, thanks for signing me up.

Take a look at the Bob / Jack "we play anything" stations. They're killing the marketplace. The appeal is broad, the DJ's are nearly non-existent and they seem to have far fewer commercials. Perhaps they're doing so well because they didn't mortgage their business on high DJ salaries and HD radio stupidity.

If your next car or home theater receiver comes with HD radio, then great but don't go out and buy anything special just so you can hear Paris Hilton's over produced track with a greater depth of sonic range. That, my friends, is completely pointless.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2015

Cheap Hack Alert - Run To Best Buy

As you are reading this you also need to be getting your wallet, keys, phone and heading out the door to BestBuy. Now BestBuy may not be the best practices leader in customer service and support and their Geek Squad makes people REAL IT experience wince at the mere thought, they do sometimes do something cool. Right now there seems to be a clearance on some X-Box 5" LCD screens. The screens are going for $49. Yep. Thats it. I dont know how hard it would be to get VGA or Composite video to it but it cant be all that hard. In fact I bet its pretty simple. Oakland Best Buy had a freakin pile of them.

If you get one tell us how it worked out.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2015

New Platform For Car Computers

At the risk of covering some dry territory I thought that you might be interested in some far off future stuff in the developer realm. If software development gives you the yawns (ha made you yawn!) you might want to sit and stare at the screen until I post something else. Then again that might make you yawn.

Lectronics developed a HW/SW platform for rapid prototyping of car computer specific... stuff. Yeah stuff.

I know it's not terribly sexy but the fact is that this stuff makes the sexy stuff work, so there.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

VW Decides To Think Differenter

As I have gone on and on about before, automakers are lining up in droves to dry-hump Apple and their iPod with wild abandon. A strange and troubling mental picture, yet even stranger in reality. Automakers typically take decades to adopt a new technology. For example; you can STILL buy a car with a cassette deck in it. The concept that people are still using old tapes to the extent that they require a cassette deck in their car is mind blowing. The fact is they aren't. What blows my mind even more is that automakers then do a complete 180 and jump into a proprietary connector that works with only one media device.

I imagine that auto execs are being brow-beaten by their over-privileged tweeners who are demanding pimp-my-ride media bling while being trucked around from soccer to karate by the nanny. The whole scenario smacks of the similar kid mafia from Japan, the Japanese Schoolgirls and their flighty whims.

Regardless, VW said nicht to the overly delicate proprietary iPod connector and decided to use a little known plug called USB. I know I use some cutting edge terms here so you may want to head over to Wikkipedia and check it out. It seems that everything on the planet uses USB. Who knew? It also seems that only iPods use the iPod connector. Yeah, yeah, I know, its crazy talk.

In a number of new VW models you'll be able to get one of these crazy new connectors that work with every mobile media device. OMG.

The irony here is that Macs and VWs are kind of a standard pairing. Won't it be funny for VW drivers to have to buy an adapter to make their iPod work. That noise you hear, yeah, that's me laughing.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)

Audiovox Car Computer Mug Shot

Jason was nice enough to dig up a photo of the Audiovox in-dash PC.

In the link he sent they included the all important specs:



CPU-- 1000Mhz NEHENIAH Processor

Memory--512MB SDDR

Flash Memory--32MB

Full function IR remote controller

1- Rear 10Mbs Ethernet Port

1- Rear Printer Port

1- Rear RS232 Serial COM Port

1- Audio In/Out - 1- S-Video out

USB 2.0 Support

1- NTSC / PAL Composite Output

1- VGA Output (compatible w/ touch screen TFT part# AV7TSTFT)

1- Front Panel USB port / 2- Rear Panel USB Ports

Includes Windows XP Home Edition

It appears that a 1Ghz is about the max these systems can take without turning into mobile dash furnaces.

No word yet on price but Audiovox has a history of being easy on the pocket. This is the first in-dash system by a global electronics maker.

I wonder if they're including any UIs with that... Perhaps I should just call them...

More soon.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 08:23 AM | Comments (4)

September 19, 2015

Audiovox Car Computer

Anyone have some photos of this???

By Amy Gilroy -- TWICE, 9/15/2015 7:32:00 AM
New York Audiovox gave a preview of its fall and winter lineup, which included its first car computer and plans to add high-speed Internet capability to its new auto-based SkyBox satellite TV system.

In home products, the company said it will more aggressively pursue the widescreen flat-panel TV market next year, and will introduce a broader model lineup at International CES in January with aggressive pricing.

Leading Audiovox’s new 12-volt products is the company’s rooftop mobile satellite TV system called SkyBox, produced by RaySat. Audiovox will ship the product in quantity over the next 30 days and announced that it expects to add high-speed Internet capability to the system in three months. Further, the company hopes to reduce the size of the SkyBox rooftop antenna, which is about 5.7 inches high and measures about as wide as a car roof, to a narrower 9 inches in a year, said senior sales VP Tom Malone at a press briefing, here.

Initially the SkyBox will ship preprogrammed to receive the DISH Network, but it will also be able to receive other DBS services in the future. The SkyBox will carry a suggested retail price of $2995.99.

Malone admits the market “isn’t massive volume now, but good volume. Following the briefing, he said the 12-volt satellite TV market for passenger cars sits at about 10,000 to 15,000 units annually. “We see that doubling with our entry in the first year, Malone said, adding the market could easily expand by 30 percent a year, even without the technology advances that should drive prices down and help downsize the antennae in the next few years. “You now have more cars with OE screens, so there’s more of an opportunity for an attachment, Malone said.

Audiovox acknowledged that the market for 12-volt car computing is also a small niche at present. The company will offer a single-DIN 1,000MHz computer under the Jensen brand that offers 512MB of memory and a 40GB hard drive. It will run on Windows and will be able to link to a keyboard or cellphone, for Internet access, via front and rear USB ports. In the future, the computer will be able to interface with the SkyBox for high-speed Internet, Malone said. Future versions of the computer will also include Bluetooth capability. The unit will carry a suggested retail price of $1,699, without monitor.

Audiovox also showed a new “every man’s rear backup sensor that is designed to be self-installed at a suggested retail price of $199. The two-piece unit has a rear sensor that attaches to the trailer hitch connection found on more than 90 percent of new SUVs, according to Audiovox. An RF module is then plugged into the car’s cigarette lighter. When the car is in reverse, the unit issues warning beeps when an object is detected behind the vehicle.

Also introduced was one of the first two-way remote start/alarm systems that sends text messages to the transceiver to confirm all commands.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 05:06 PM | Comments (1)

Destinator Live

Destinator is releasing a live personalized NAV / POI system for mobile devices. The move towards personalization / location based portals is becoming evident. This is a bold and exciting move towards custom tailored systems that turn mapping and location systems into a feature rich tool that will make these systems compelling for a much larger audience. OnStar should be looking at their captive audience and existing infrastructure and figuring out how to integrate these types of systems.

If Destinator can do this, Imagine the data layers of companies of like Yahoo and Google. The possibilities are endless.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)

The New Hot Phone Of The Moment


Phones are integral to mobile computing. As EVDO and broadband technologies are included in more and more phones, the mobile user is seeing more options for connectivity.

The current "perfect" setup is a combo of Bluetooth and EVDO. This allows the in-car computer to get access without having a dedicated connectivity device while also freeing the user from having to have an ugly tether.

The bonus with PDA style devices with these features is that once you're on the hoof the device is still very usable. Windows Mobile 5 is a good leap forward and pretty much makes all previous versions pointless to purchase. That's pretty much the case with embedded systems such as this so it should come as no surprise.

Sprint is the first on the U.S. block with a PDA / EVDO / Bluetooth / WM 5.0 device and it's a real looker. The side-slide keyboard looks wide enough for adult hands and seems to have enough buttons to keep the use of a "function" key to a bare minimum.

If you're looking for a good way to get broadband Internet in your car, Bluetooth and EVDO is your best bet. If you're also wanting a powerful device that offers lots of option outside of the car, the PDA option covers that too. MS is doing a good job of keeping up with the Jonses and the Treo too. It's worth a look.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 04:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2015

Cop Clips Teen While Surfing Mad Pr0n

Those Aussies, they just can't not drive on the wrong side of the road. He's blaming it on the in car computer but thats like blaming it on the butler, we know the deal. No need to lie, dude.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 12:33 AM | Comments (1)

September 15, 2015

Car Computer How To

Extreme Tech was nice enough to mention Carhacks in one of their articles. They didn't even make a nasty remark about me. How about that. Perhaps I should be nicer to other people. Perhaps we should all try to be more understanding of one another. Perhaps not.

Victor Loh does a thorough work up of the anatomy of a car pc and how to slam it in your whip, ride, sled, rig, cruiser or Celica.

I swear I wrote a similar article very recently. It was not a dream. I swear.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 12:21 AM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2015

BMW *hearts* Howard Stern

Telematics Journal tells it like it is. Today they tell us that BMW has made an agreement with Sirius Satellite radio. It seems that this little game of satellite radio dodge-ball has almost gotten its players on one side or another. Soon the PANG of a flying orb may ring out. Or it could be Howard, out of the FCC's filthy little reach.

What does this mean to you? Your car buying decision may actually hinge on the automakers choice of satellite radio bedfellow, depending on the programming you like. Even more-so if you already have XM or Sirius in your house or car.

Why not pick a technology that gets both and let them fight it out, in a mud pit, with tousled hair and dripping... Uh, yeah, anyway, it smells of a Chocolate / Peanut butter battle, and we know who won that one. Yeah. See? I knew you'd get it.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Mac Dock - Prepare For Big Shipping Charges

Akihabara News gives us the dirt on a very elegant way to get your Mac Mini in your car. It's also a great way to get it out. How about that?

Sure, docks are not exactly rocket science but this one makes it very simple to use your system outside of the confines of your car. What a concept, out-of-car-computing. I'll need a personal moment here.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

Off Topic - More On The Morbid Facination With iPods

People, iPods are not special. iPods are music players, just like a dozen other music players. It's not a way to be extra hip, unique or special. It's a way to listen to purloined music on the move, its a conveyance for the real stuff, content. This is one more case of style sending substance to a distant second place. Apple has one great thing, great "thingy" designers. They make pretty items. The guts my friends, are as gory as the rest of consumer electronics innards. Wires and things that spin, with an occasional battery and gremlin that turns the light off when you shut the door.

The NYT reports that the new Nano (apple also has cool people that dream up great names for things. I bet they don't have conventional job titles, I bet they have titles like "super imagination wizard, level 12") is replacing the Mini. I wonder how many cities will be having silent organized vigils in their local flagship Starbucks.

"THE Mini, for example, was available in four metallic colors; the Nano comes only in shiny black or white. (Both have the traditional fingerprint-prone chrome back panel. And both come with earbuds in the traditional status-symbol color, which PC Magazine wittily calls "mug-me white.") The Mini held much more music, too; $200 for four gigabytes of storage instead of two, for example. "

"The Nano's battery doesn't last as long, either: 14 hours instead of the Mini's 18, and rival flash players' batteries run much longer still. And the Nano can't connect to your Mac or PC with a FireWire cable, as all previous iPods could (except the Shuffle). Instead, the Nano comes with a snow-white U.S.B. cable."

So in effect they are the same with some minor differences. Let's not get into a semantics argument hereabout sameness, it's still effectively a music player. No one renamed Jesus, the Cubs will always be a losing team, and gas is still 3 times cheaper in America than it is in Japan. The grand paradigm has not shifted. No need to get into a froth.

Folks, lets stop watching Apple like we're watching the ball at Wimbledon. I have a safe bet. They will make more stuff. It will be packaged in cute boxes that people will save and care for for years to come. That is until the next cool Apple thing comes out and they have to sell the old cool thing on eBay. The circle of life will continue. As will peoples willingness to pay almost two times more for something that does exactly what other player will do. That, my friends is an effective marketing machine.

Talk amongst yourselves.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 11:39 PM | Comments (0)

Your Car Will Spam You

USA Today reports that Onstar equipped cars will soon be able to email you when they feel needy. If you're current co-dependant relationship is not rendering your email box almost unusable, your car is going to pick up the slack.

My Yukon has a nice little LED display that moans about doors being jars, hatches being unsecured and passengers who flout local seat belt laws. I'm pretty sure I don't want to hear about it yet again when I log on. That's just me.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

Icepack 2 - Twice As Nice

Karputer hits us one more time with the second generation of their Icepack in-dash PC.

"What sets this new system apart is the development of the PlayNOW BIOS. PlayNOW enables you to utilse features like CD and DVD playback without the need to load the WindowsXP operating system."

See, thats the kind of innovation that keeps these kinds of systems exciting. The proc is still only 1Ghz but the size of the system limits how much horsepower you can kram in the karputer. Kram, get it?

If you have a 2 DIN space or can Dremel one out, this set of screen and PC is shoe-in! Too many puns...Must not make more puns...

Posted by Lionel Felix at 09:22 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2015

Linux Heads, Your Mana Is Here

Linux Based In-Car-Computers have been absent from the set for a little too long. That looks to be changing. There may not be a lot of add-ons you can cobble together for them yet but this offering from VDO Dayton (Of VDO gauge fame?) is a sweet bit of fresh meat.

WHat I like about this little guy is the case. It looks like it SHOULD be in your car. It does seem to work with connection cards from wireless providers which is yet another plus. I cannot tell if it plays DivX files but in light of it's rich feature set, it's got a lot of woo for one little box.

Perhaps they would send us one for a proper demo? Perhaps?

Posted by Lionel Felix at 11:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2015

Digital Celebrity Death Match iPod VS. XM

I like reading Reuters but sometimes I see articles that just make me tilt my head to the side like a dog that's heard a high pitched sound.

In today's example of media trying to pick a fight that isn't there, they pit the ipod against satellite radio. Blah blah blah, ipod will compete with satellite radio blah blah blah cost might make the difference blah blah blah.

Simple answer here, Cassette tapes and CDs didn't kill conventional radio. MTV didn't kill radio (even when it played music once in a while) and the iPod will not kill anything other than the odd domestic animal that consumes one in a chewing fit.

Satellite radio has a draw because it offers not only music but news, entertainment, comedy, Discovery channel and the BBC World Service. The iPod offers MP3s and looks cute. I'm not sure who should feel threatened here. iPods are nice and all but lets look at them for exactly what they are, recorded music players and nothing more.

Don't get me wrong, particularly the nutbags that think anything new from Apple is akin to the second coming, The ability to carry your ill-gotten music anywhere you want and listen to it over and over and over is pretty great stuff. But it's great static stuff. Satellite radio is a network, live stuff, 24 hours a day. It's drawback is that other than the 37 people who have sprung the megabucks for the portable version, satellite radio anchors you to a vehicle or immovable stereo. Point to iPod.

Perhaps people will own both. I do. Why is that so weird? Why does it need to be a fight? Why cant we all get along?!

Posted by Lionel Felix at 11:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

USA Today on Car Tech

Every day we see car-computers getting a little more exposure. USA Today calls it a project for "hobbyists" and I guess that's partly true.

Our very own Stolarz is featured in the article. Go D, its your birthday..

Posted by Lionel Felix at 11:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 06, 2015

Creepy Car Vibrator

At this very moment there are thousands, perhaps millions of people burning lean tissue, trying to come up with the next great thing to:
1. Cure male patter baldness (or at least cover it with some sort of spray)
2. Make life easier though better kitchen gadgets
3. Make cars safer by having things around you vibrate to warn you of impending doom

The first two make sense. Men never aspire to a glossy pate and women never aspire to find a man with one. The second one is a no-brain-er, who in their right mind wouldn't want a food dehydrator running 24/7?

It's the third one that concerns me and it concerns me for one huge reason, it is yet one more crutch that keeps people from being responsible for paying attention to the road. When I rule all things drivers will have particularly dangerous seating arrangements replete with daggers and snapping turtles to make SURE they do pay attention to the road. Are we all not completely sick of people yammering into their phones, swatting at their kids 4 rows back into their mini-vans?

Having a car seat alert you to a red light is unnecessary or at the very least too subtle. If this technology is going to serve a real purpose I say it should go to the next level. I propose a system that incrementally hurts the driver through slapping and electrocution as they near a red light they aren't watching, a school zone or passing by any Olive Garden. As you get closer it inflicts more pain. That sort of training is exactly how people will pave strong neural pathways allowing for safer driving. Until then lets keep the vibrating objects where they belong...

Posted by Lionel Felix at 11:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 03, 2015


Blaupunkt has joined the GPS game. Rather than hit us with an inexpensive unit that will blow Garmin and the rest out of the water they added an iPod control / MP3 support. Hmmm. Yeah. Ok. Well, its cheaper than the TomTom. (say something nice, say something nice...) The 3D view is nice too.

Posted by Lionel Felix at 08:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Happy Happy Joy Joy - Viva La EDGE


Verizon cut their EVDO prices down from $80 ro $60/mo. Big woop. It's still WAY too expensive. As I have mentioned before, T-Mobile, thanks in part to smart pricing from head of sales, Catherine Zeta Jones-Douglas, is $20/mo for their broadband all-you-care-to-use-for-P2P-service. That's 1/3 the price. Not 15%, not a few bucks, a third.

It's the telco version of "How you like that? Yeah? In your face! How does it feel? Yeah, I thought so."

Ok, EVDO is cooler and more techno cause it's not a nifty acronym. And it's newer, which adds to the l33tn3ss of it but as my uncle Morty would say in a very Yiddish accent "Such a deal!"

Posted by Lionel Felix at 07:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 01, 2015

Telematics Update: The "Killer App" for Car PCs

I just gave a speech at the Telematics Update conference in Berlin. It covers the emergence of the Car PC market (business case) but it some good eye candy in it too.


Posted by dstolarz at 09:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack