The Chevrolet Volt, going on sale this month heralds in a new age of automotive EV technology. But will customers bite on the $41,000 price tag? (Photo by Jason Perlow) I admit that I'm something of a car junkie. So when the opportunity came to test-drive the new Chevy Volt, the hybrid Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) that's been under active development by GM for four years (and arguably even longer) I absolutely jumped at the chance to put myself behind the wheel of this technological marvel. Hybrids have been out for a while. The Toyota Prius of course is the best-known and by all accounts has been a major commercial success, but it's been something of a compromise car from a Green Technology standpoint. Like most hybrid vehicles the electric motor in the Prius works in tandem with a traditional internal combustion engine, which switches itself on and off as needed to power/charge the car's electric motor/batteries or to directly engage the powertrain like a conventional … [Read more...] about GM’s Volt: The Car of the Future?
Expensive 4 door cars
For decades, the entire automotive industry sat up and listened carefully when a friend or a foe announced a new concept car. They were wild, stylized machines built with a steady eye on the future. Design studies previewed forward-thinking design trends, upcoming tech, or a high-performance engine developed to leave the competition in the dust.Automakers have recently become lazy in that regard, and these days concept cars are often little more than an upcoming production model decked out with cameras in lieu of door mirrors, big wheels, and shaved door handles. It’s unfortunate, but thankfully some brands still know which strings to pull to mesmerize us as we walk the floors of the world’s largest auto shows. Read on to learn more about some of the best concept cars of all time.The 1938 Buick Y-Job is often credited as being the automotive industry’s first-ever concept car. That’s inaccurate; the honor goes to the Volvo Venus Bilo, which was built in 1933 to … [Read more...] about These concept car designs will make you wish they were made
The BMW 4 Series is more luxurious and attractive than its replacement, leaving us to wonder what’s to miss in the old 3 Series Coupe.What’s in a name? That question has become increasingly contentious amongst the BMW faithful, as BMW brass has taken a hacksaw to the brand’s nomenclature.The 3 Series Coupe, one of the most iconic German cars of all-time, has been discontinued for 2014, making way for its replacement, the BMW 4 Series.If the old car looked svelte like a tennis player, the new one is more of a gymnast.The new BMW naming scheme seems like a relatively simple formula: two-door cars – both coupes and convertibles – begin with even numbers, while odd numbers are reserved for more family-friendly sedans and wagons.As for sub-model coding, the larger the engine displacement, the larger the next two numbers in the number name code. Except, the BMW 6 Series is now offered in a four-door GranCoupé model, and the 1 Series remains a two-door coupe … [Read more...] about First Drive: 2014 BMW 4 Series
It may be best known for the 911, but Porsche is pretty good at building normal cars.Since the launch of the Cayenne in 2003, the company has encroached on luxury-car territory previously dominated by fellow Germans BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Porsche recently launched the smaller Macan crossover to complement the Cayenne. So why not build a smaller sibling for the Panamera sedan?According to Autocar, Porsche is planning exactly that, although the result won’t exactly be compact.The magazine reports that Porsche wants to build a rival to the BMW 5 Series, the most established midsize sedan on the market and a car benchmarked by everything from the 2014 Maserati Ghibli to the Tesla Model S.The primary motivation behind such a car would be increased sales; the 5 Series and similar-sized rivals like the Audi A6, Jaguar XF, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class are extremely popular.However, Porsche boss Matthias Muller told Autocar that a 5 Series-fighter is just one of several possibilities for a … [Read more...] about After its 4-door sales soar, Porsche ponders a mid-size BMW 5 Series rival
You're going on a big road trip, and you've loaded your smartphone with a GPS app, Google Maps, a weather app, and perhaps a currency converter tool. Now what?Smartphones have opened a new world of accessibility for travelers--from commuter to business jetsetters to adventurers trekking through foreign lands with just the clothes on their back (and the smartphone in their pocket). Getting there and getting around once you've arrived shouldn't be a chore.Here are 15 apps for various smartphone platforms that can make going from point A to point B less stressful. 1. Taxi MagicNeed a cab? Taxi Magic has the numbers for all taxi services operating in your area preprogrammed for one-click calling. Alternatively, you can book a cab directly through your phone, providing your pickup address and destination without no hold time. Finally, you can track your cab as it wends its way to your address. Among your options for this app are Android and iPhone versions.FreeWorks on … [Read more...] about 15 Top Transportation Apps for Planes, Trains, and Cars
As CIO at Boeing, Ted Colbert is no stranger to the Internet of Things. For more than a decade, the aerospace giant has deployed thousands of communications-enabled smart devices to sense, control and exchange data across the factory floor, on the battlefield, and within the company's 787 Dreamliner aircraft.For National Football League CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle, however, it's a whole new ballgame. Currently the league is experimenting with instrumentation by deploying sensors on the playing field, the ball, and the players and their helmets; it's even exploring ways to track fans.The Internet of Things presents two opportunities for IT, says Chris Curran, chief technologist and principal in the advisory practice at PwC. "The first requires the CIO to insert himself into the product design and management process," he says. "The second is a new discussion for the CIO to initiate." One concerns product instrumentation; the other is about "instrumenting" the business itself -- equipping … [Read more...] about 4 Things to Do Now to Get Ready for the Internet of Things
Network security doesn't have to be expensive, and it doesn't have to be complicated. Yes, there are lots of excellent products, service and consultants ready to help improve your network security, and yet that shouldn't be the first place an organization goes to prepare against hackers, insider threats, data loss and malware. Fancy new technologies won't help if you're not focusing on the roots of good cybersecurity. Let's talk about some of the most important questions that people rarely ask about cybersecurity, perhaps because they seem so simplistic.We all know that it doesn't matter how good a home security system is if someone leaves the garage door open overnight — and a pricey car alarm doesn't help if the keys and clicker are left in the ignition, and the car window's open.Here are four questions that reflect a foundation of security management. Your answers may help set the foundation of a solid security posture.Creating a a comprehensive security policy can be a … [Read more...] about Can you answer these 4 questions about your network security policies?
It's a cruel world out there for tablets: Every day, there's the possibility they will be dropped, knocked, spilled on or just shaken around. And that's just in a normal business day -- if you use your tablet outdoors, while traveling or in a work zone, the odds of a disaster go up precipitously.In its report Mobile Device TCO Models for Line of Business Solutions, VDC Research estimates that the failure rate for conventional tablets in the workplace is 18% per year. That translates into roughly one in five systems failing at work each year."Unless you want to treat tablets as disposable, this failure rate should be unacceptable for businesses today," observes David Krebs, executive vice president at VDC Research. "By contrast, rugged tablets have been built for business use and have a 4% failure rate."Rugged tablets offer reinforced frames, tough skins, watertight seals, hardened glass, soft corner bumpers and major components that are shock-mounted. In other words, if ordinary … [Read more...] about Break Me If You Can: 4 Rugged Tablets Put to the Test
SAN FRANCISCO — Many connected-car Android apps are so easy to hack that they could let cybercriminals steal cars, two researchers from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab said yesterday (Feb. 16) at the RSA Conference here. Credit: Pathdoc/Shutterstock "With a mobile phone, you can start the engine, unlock the doors, track the location and even drive without keys," Kaspersky's Victor Chebyshev said. "For criminals, it's like winning the lottery."Chebyshev and his colleague Mikhail Kuzin found several ways in which malware could hijack the functions of a legitimate automotive remote-control app, though they stressed that they had heard of no such attacks in real life. Carmakers should fix this by implementing safeguards taken by the banking industry, which successfully stopped the spread of banking Trojans that infected online banking apps, they said. Car owners can make sure their phones are running a recent version of Android, make sure … [Read more...] about Hackers Could Hijack Your Car with Android Malware
Technology decisions matter in the 2016 US presidential campaign. Tech has always played an important role in politics—from highly-targeted direct mail to robocalls to databases for door-knockers—but the stakes are high this year because the tech is getting even better and it's taking over more and more aspects of the game. Running a campaign is often compared to running a small business. The stakes are high and the margin of error is slim. In a modern political campaign, understanding technology translates into being able to better understand people. Making the right decisions about how best to use technology has big consequences. Four significant technologies—big data, the cloud, social media, and mobile—will significantly influence this year's election cycle. Let's break down how and why.Data and the cloud Data science is the hot tech trend of the 2016 campaign. Every viable campaign employs a team of data scientists to optimize messaging, raise funds, … [Read more...] about Election Tech: The 4 technologies that will decide the next US president