The navigation system we're taking a look at today comes with the 2009 Volvo XC. This video's a little on the long side, but not only does it run down the features of the car's navigation system, you also get to hear about its blindspot information systems (get your safety on!), bluetooth connectivity, and voice-activated help. This video also gives a first-hand view of how the car drives as the vehicle is pioneered throughout the city of San Francisco (what beautiful views...)
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Twenty years ago it appeared, for a moment, that all our energy problems could be solved. It was the announcement of cold fusion--nuclear energy like that which powers the sun--but at room temperature on a table top. It promised to be cheap, limitless, and clean. Cold fusion would end our dependence on the Middle East and stop those greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. It would change everything.
But then, just as quickly as it was announced, it was discredited. So thoroughly, that cold fusion became a catch phrase for junk science. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to oblivion--for many scientists today, cold fusion is hot again.
"We can yield the power of nuclear physics on a tabletop. The potential is unlimited. That is the most powerful energy source known to man," researcher Michael McKubre told "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley.
McKubre says he has seen that energy more than 50 times in cold fusion experiments he's doing at SRI International, a respected California lab that does extensive work for the government.
McKubre is an electrochemist who imagines, in 20 years, the creation of a clean nuclear battery. "For example, a laptop would come precharged with all of the energy that you would ever intend to use. You're now decoupled from your charger and the wall socket," he explained.
The same would go for cars. "The potential is for an energy source that would run your car for three, four years, for example. And you'd take it in for service every four years and they'd give you a new power supply," McKubre told Pelley.
"Power stations?" Pelley asked.
"You can imagine a one for one plug-in replacement for nuclear fuel rods. And the difference only would be that at the end of the lifetime of that fuel rod, you didn't have radioactive waste that needed to be disposed of," McKubre replied.
He showed "60 Minutes" just how simple the experiment looks; there are only three main ingredients. First, there is palladium, a metal in the platinum family. Second, one needs a kind of hydrogen called deuterium which is found in seawater.
"Deuterium is essentially unlimited. There is ten times as much energy in a gallon of sea water, from the deuterium contained within it, than there is in a gallon of gasoline," he explained.
The palladium is placed in water containing deuterium and the third ingredient is an electric current.
The experiment is wrapped in insulation and instruments. They're looking for what they call "excess heat." In other words, is more energy coming out than the electric current puts in?
No one knows exactly how excess heat would be generated, but McKubre showed "60 Minutes" what he thinks is happening. … Read more
If money's tight, but you don't want to miss out on spring photo opportunities, Pentax is offering up some instant savings on three of its compact cameras and its entry-level digital SLR.
Starting Friday through April 11, the company is knocking $20 off the prices of its basic compact, the Optio E70, and its lightweight ultracompact Optio P70, as well as the waterproof Optio W60. Or if you want more than a point-and-shoot, the K2000 dSLR kit with DA L 18-55mm lens and AF200FG flash has a $50 instant rebate, bringing the price down below $550.
I recently … Read more
BMExtreme is a great tool for computer users who enjoy hot-rodding their Internet connection. Much like a dashboard's gauges tell a driver everything they need to know, this program does the same for Internet-related system information.
This free unlimited trial downloads in the form of a medium-size box that allows a fully-customizable look at your system's bandwidth usage. The main screen measures the megabytes sent, received, and total for the session, day, and month. This is a great snapshot, but if you want something more particular, opening the configuration tab gives a world of variables. In addition, there … Read more
At the end of last year, Panasonic's DMP-BD35 earned the first Editors' Choice award given to a standalone Blu-ray player, because of its excellent feature set and reliable playback. The DMP-BD60 is the follow-up to the DMP-BD35, offering nearly the same feature set plus access to VieraCast, Panasonic's proprietary video content portal. So it may be surprising to see that the DMP-BD60 scores significantly lower than the DMP-BD35 did when it was first released--but that's just how fast the Blu-ray market is moving. While competitors are adding Netflix streaming, Wi-Fi connectivity, and onboard memory, the DMP-BD60 is … Read more
Over 90 percent off its original asking price, Microsoft's sale of its productivity suite, Office Ultimate, for $59.95 to bona fide students seems nothing short of a stellar deal.
That is, until you consider that the tools to download an entire office suite to your Windows computer for free has long been available to everyone, not just registered college kids with an e-mail address ending in '.edu'. Sun Microsystem's popular but still undersung productivity suite OpenOffice.org is freeware with all the office essentials that students--and most everyone else--use in daily computing, including word processing, spreadsheets, presentation … Read more
Shopping for a laptop under $600 is a bit like going for the half-priced, late-afternoon sushi special at your local deli--there's a certain risk versus reward calculation that has to occur.
While it's not going to win any awards for flair or style, this anonymous-looking 15-inch retail model from Hewlett-Packard offers the best combination of features and performance in its price range.
The $599 HP G60-235DX(part of our winter 2009 retail laptop review roundup) has a 16:9 display, an Intel Dual-Core CPU (many budget systems use slower AMD chips), and even squeezes in a separate number … Read more