Archive for cars

Video Mid Day Distraction- Dancing Car Salesman

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We all need a little boogie in our car buying experience! Via.

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What's Your EDR Telling The Government About You?

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spy vs spy

My EDR. What's that? And how does the government even know I  have one?

Well, for starters, an EDR is an event data recorder. It's a device that goes into your car. For it's intended purpose, it records key functions of your vehicle and in case of an accident, it can be accessed and details of what was going on just before, during and immediately after the event can be studied. Think of it as your car's Black Box -- like airlines use.

On the surface that sounds pretty cool. Maybe it can even be used to prove that a cop who wrote you a ticket for speeding was wrong. Of if accused of not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, you might be able to show you actually had. There's all kinds of good uses this EDR could be for all of us.

All of us? Yep. It seems they're now standard equipment on personal vehicles, cars and light trucks. The HILL

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated that all light-duty vehicles be installed with EDRs and more than 96 percent of 2013 car models have the technology already.

This appears to be benign on the surface. But, hold on a minute. It will monitor things beyond just brake usage, speed, seatbelt engagement -- it'll also monitor location, outgoing or incoming phone calls, and our routines.

Who's going to have access to that information?

Right now, it's generally open season. A few states have initiated privacy laws about when and how that data can be retrieved and disseminated. But generally speaking, many hackers and the US government have access. This means they can be tracking you, monitoring you and even selling your information like what markets you shop at, where you drop by to grab a brewski on the way home from work, even if you're having an affair at some hotel or motel.

The senators said they were concerned because currently there are no limitations on what information can be recorded and who can use it.

But fear not:

Several states have passed EDR privacy laws, but (Senators) Klobuchar and Hoeven said all American drivers deserve the same protections. Their bill would allow the data to be used if it is requested by a court of law or an owner consents.

“While technologies like EDRs have shown tremendous promise in improving safety on our roadways, we need to make sure that technological advancements don’t outpace privacy protections,” Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan bill makes clear that the vehicle owner is also the rightful owner of any data collected by an EDR, while still ensuring law enforcement has the tools they need to protect citizens.”

With the NSA snooping into everything we do, they don't need more unauthorized spying and recording of our habits. Here's a h/t to the bi-partisan efforts of Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) who just announced that they’d introduce a bill aimed at protecting the privacy of drivers.

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Video Overnight Thread- Ice Dancing Cars

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h/t Lucian.

Just a wee bit of housekeeping. If you haven’t already (stern look) please like us on teh Facebook, and we are all available to follow on Twitter. Gotta is great, David is fabulous and Lucian is smart and funny. Me, I’m still trying to get the font big enough to read, but I will get there eventually. Or just follow the whole damn lot of us here. Thank you.

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7 Year-Old Tale of Two Cities

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rashomon_sp2

Okay, we've all heard of Roshoman... oh, you haven't. It's a classic movie: the tale of violent crime in the woods, told from the perspective of four different characters -- a bandit, a woman, her husband and a woodcutter. Only two things about the incident seem to be clear -- the woman was raped and her husband is now dead. They all saw the same thing, but their perspectives on the event are totally different. And so it is with real life.

Take the 7 Year-Old Tale of Two cities:

Similarities: Two boys, both seven years old, both steal their family car and bot take it for a joyride.

Differences: One boy is Black. One boy is White. One boy becomes the featured guest on a popular morning show. The other is arrested, cuffed and put on the evening news, taking a 'perp' walk.

Can you guess which is which?

Here's the feel good story treatment:

And now here's the other child's story:

What's wrong here is what's wrong with our society. Race. We put a judgment on one kid, as well as cuffs, and we make a celebrity out of the other.  White kid cute.  Black boy, bad.

Both of these kids stole cars, drove them dangerously and put lives at risk, including their own. Let's stop this two sides of the law kind of treatment. Both kids should face some serious counselling. And so should their parents.

Just think if one of these kids had hurt you? Would it be so cute? We can't make heroes out of wrong doers. That too is wrong.

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Dangers of Your Love Affair

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Auto love affair

With Detroit going bankrupt, I'm reminded of what was once referred to as Motor City. It was a thriving business and a soulful sound in music. Now the banging, clanging mixed in with the Motown downbeat have grinded to an ignominious silence.

How can we turn away from the  backbone of one of our great cities?

I'm hoping that a little walk down memory lane with the major products of Detroit is appropriate at this time. So while I mourn a once great city, and pray for a speedy resolve (listen to Ed Schultz for the solution) it might be interesting to examine a few thoughts on America's love affair with the automobile. It's probably not going to end in our lifetime -- but ironically it could end our lifetime. So take a gander at these couple of questions and see what you know about our driving habits as you "See the USA in Your Chevrolet," as Dinah Shore used to sing.

1. What state are you most likely to die in a car crash?

2. What state are you least likely to know the rules of the road? (warning, trick answer)

3. What state has the worst teen drivers?

4. What state has the worst senior drivers?

5. What state has the most distracted drivers?

Get Answers1. Montana, 2. District of Columbia, 3. South Dakota, 4. Florida, 5. Tennessee

Now put that knowledge to good use.  Stay healthy, stay alive.  And help Detroit do the same.  Contact your congressperson and senator and let them know you want to see a bailout -- if we can put the cash in Wall Street, we can add some bop shoo bop and some much needed bucks for Motown. Don't let these memories die.

Motown

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The Self-driving Car

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self-driving car

I can't wait for the self-driving car.  And it can't be all that far off.  A spokesman for Audi said a fully automated car would not be available until the end of the decade. That doesn't stop me from thinking about it, though.  And a lot of other people are thinking about it, too.

Last year, Jerry Brown, the governor of California, signed legislation paving the way for driverless cars in California, making it the third state to explicitly allow the cars on the road. And federal agencies are starting to consider their impact. In May the Transportation Department made its first formal policy statement on autonomous vehicles, encouraging cities to allow testing of driverless cars..  It's already got my mind racing. And here's why:

Automakers like Audi, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz have already begun making plans for self-driving vehicles. The people working on these technologies are starting to ask what these autos could mean for the city of the future. The short answer is “a lot,” Imagine a city where you don’t drive in loops looking for a parking spot because your car drops you off and scoots off to some holding area, sort of like taxi holding pens at airports. Forget struggling to parallel park or squeeze into that tight spot. Those will soon be days of the past.

When you're ready to get picked up, just whistle like the Lone Ranger and your horse, er, car will zip right over and pick you up. Think of all the time you'll save. And money on not getting any parking tickets. I'll gladly give up  not seeing another envelope stuck under my windshield wiper when I've overstayed my time at a meter.

And think about this --  ever need to be two places at once, work and picking up the kids from school.  Send the car to pick them up. You can stay at the office and get some work done. Need to pick up your wife and the big game is still going on? Just dispatch the Honda to pick her up from shopping and you won't miss a pitch or a TD pass.

Driverless cars will allow people to sleep on the way to work or going shopping. You can read a book or even exercise, watch TV, catch up on emails or... hell, you can do just about anything and not have to worry about any accidents, either.  No more passing up that "one for the road" drink when you have a self-driving car. You pour yourself that stiff one and let the car drive you home, safe and sound. Maybe even sleep it off on the way. Oh, man, hurry up already and get me into my new driverless car. I'm thirsty for a brewski and I still have to drive home.

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Driving Home Art

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potato paintings
I appreciate art. I'm not good at it but visits to galleries and art fairs are something my wife and I do quite often. Art show openings are something we look forward to. And we've been amazed at so many kinds of expression through creative endeavor.

We've seen pictures painted with brushes, chalk, pastels, charcoal, oil paint, water paint, acrylics, light, shadow, outside materials, pieces of pictures, yarn, leaves, woven palm fronds, pencil, dirt, even feces. Yes, that last one is true.

But it always comes down to the art.  That's what we respond to. Yet you can't help but watching someone build a sand sculpture, drawing a caricature, wielding a chainsaw, an ax, a knife or other device to express themselves.That's part of the fun. No matter the outcome.

So, when we come across an new form or style of creating pictures, count us in.

I just came across a first for me.  Have you ever seen anyone create a picture using a Land Rover?  Yes, that Land Rover. The car. Well if you are like me and my wife, here's a first -- the artist is Ian Cook from Great Britain. I hope you enjoy this new generating of expressing oneself. Drive carefully and don't forget to gas up and support the arts.

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