Not a week goes by where someone doesn't approach me with the same smug, "Oh, my '92 Civic hatch gets better fuel economy than the current Civic," or "LOLZ! My Geo Metro XFi getz teh 50mpg!!! PWND!!" This is usually followed by some ill-researched rant about how the gasoline engine hasn't advanced in 40 years or how automakers and oil barons are conspiring to keep gasoline expensive. In reality, compared with their modern analogs, your late-'80s vintage econobox is crap. I'm sorry to say it, because I love older compact cars, but … Read more
Microsoft's new search engine, Bing, is the first real competitor to Google.
I rarely use Google. Or rather, I rarely use Google.com. Because Google is embedded into Safari, I just use the search box there, which creates huge stickiness that's hard to displace. Of course, Microsoft has the same option now for embedding Bing into Internet Explorer, assuming it's allowed to by the courts. But the very short amount of time I've spent with Bing has me rethinking my search engine options seriously for the first time.
I know a lot of people gush about … Read more
Obama talks GM, but leaves out the "B" word. Hydrogen is back this week; will it stay? And the new version of Microsoft SYNC is out; we'll tell you what it does and if your Ford can get it. Plus, a ride in a hotted-up Lexus.Listen now: Download today's podcast SHOW NOTES
GM announced its development of a new, more efficient internal combustion engine that will eventually be used to power its lineup of hybrid and extended-range plug-in vehicles.
In the homogenous charge compression ignition engine (HCCI), the air and fuel mixture is compressed to ignite rather than using a spark. When combined with other advanced technologies, the HCCI engine provides up to 15 percent better fuel economy, according to GM. … Read more
Scientists at the University of Illinois have developed polymers that change color when the material becomes overstressed.
The materials science invention could be used in things like parachute cords, climbing ropes, or added to smart coatings for bridges.
The polymers contain mechanophores--molecules that create a chemical reaction that makes the synthetic material change color when a certain amount of force is exerted upon it.
One of the polymers offered by the scientists as an example of their work is an amber-colored elastomer that turns progressively more orange as it's pulled and then finally red right before it reaches its … Read more
To hear the poobahs of traditional media tell it, Google is to print media what global warming is to the polar caps. At many once-stalwart print publications, profits are melting away.
For several months, leaders at some of the nation's most influential newspapers and periodicals, including The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, and the online arm of Forbes magazine have begun blaming Google and similar Web services for at least some of their deepening financial troubles. Google sells ads tied to the news blurbs it "scrapes" from news sites. It links back to the Web sites … Read more
Cybercriminals have moved on from search engine optimization techniques and are now creating fake search sites designed solely to direct Web surfers to pages hosting malware, Panda Security warned on Wednesday.
Previously, attackers resorted to sending e-mails with malicious code in attachments and with links to malicious Web sites and took measures to push those Web sites higher in search engine rankings. Now, they're also creating fake search engines that are showing up in Google search results, according to a PandaLabs blog posting.
When people use the engines to search for popular terms, like "flu statistics," the … Read more
I've mentioned the Homebrew Robotics Club here a few times. The club has an active mailing list. And when I found myself writing a lengthy post there over the weekend, I figured it might be of interest to the wider audience.
The post was in response to this inquiry from club president Wayne C. Gramlich, included here with his permission:
Can anybody point me a book that goes into design issues associated with assembling mechanisms out of bearings, axles, and gears? I'm looking for pretty basic stuff, like when to use a ball bearing, where to place bearings … Read more
We'll admit that we were very intrigued by this free Firefox add-on, which promises a way to see and compare results from multiple search engines. But after we put it to the test, we found some of its features vague and its user interface awkward to navigate.
Right off the bat, we found several issues with SearchAll's user interface. A single search field and a single button are introduced in a completely new toolbar that seemed to take up more space than it needed. A three-panel display is used to show search results, but there wasn't enough … Read more
No matter what your operating system, your PC has its own search capabilities. However, Effective File Search kicks your file searches up a few notches by giving you more options.
The user interface could use a splash of color, but it's easy to navigate. It consists of three tabs (Main, Date and Size, Containing Text) that break down your search methods. You can find files using the three tab functionalities separately, or use them in unison to drill down into your searches. The Main tab let us conduct a search based on the file's name and folder. Considering … Read more