Archive for the 'Cars' Category

Remote Kill Switches are a Bad Idea

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

GuillotineRecently I’ve been hearing about government support for remote kill switches, say in automobiles for law enforcement use, or in cell phones for when they’re stolen. And my first thought is always that some hacker is going to find a way to trigger the switch and cause all kinds of problems.

Apparently the hackers had the same thought. The linked article covers a situation where stolen iCloud credentials were used to lock out iPhones via the “Find My iPhone” anti-theft feature.

(via Kim Komando)

I Can’t Drive… 85!

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Speed Limit SignTexans will soon be able to legally drive at 85 mph, on a highway between Austin and San Antonio. It will be the highest speed limit in the country.

(via Slashdot)

The Risks of Texting While Driving

Monday, August 13th, 2012

PhoneAaron Deveau, age 18, has been convicted of vehicular homicide for texting while driving. The distraction led to a crash that killed a man. Deveau will spend a year in jail then five years on probation, and he will lose his driver’s license for 15 years. A harsh punishment indeed.

(via Kim Komando)

The Diverging Diamond Interchange

Monday, July 9th, 2012

CarThe Denver metro area may be getting a diverging diamond interchange, where traffic temporarily switches to the left side of the road to cross a bridge. It will be where McCaslin Blvd crosses Highway 36, between the towns of Superior and Louisville. My first reaction is, “How can this possibly work without causing accidents?” But apparently it not only works but works better than more common interchange types.

Thanks to Josh for this link.


Building a Car with a 3D Printer

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

PrinterHere at Chad’s News, we’ve been keeping an eye on 3D printers and the interesting things they can do. The linked article shows the results of a car (the Urbee) with a body completely created by 3D printers from Stratasys. This is the stuff of science fiction come true.

(via Kim Komando)

Death Waiting to Happen–And It Did Just That

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Speed Limit SignEight people crammed into an extended-cab pickup, none of whom were wearing seat belts, and with at least one person in the bed of the truck. Driver lost control and rolled the truck. All eight passengers were ejected—two died, two were in serious condition, and the remaining four were all hospitalized. Sigh…. There should be a Darwin Award in there somewhere.


Trading a Cell Phone For a Porsche on Craigslist

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Red PaperclipLong-time Chad’s News readers will recall how Kyle MacDonald made a series of trades to go from a single red paperclip to a house. Well now, a teenager named Steven Ortiz started with an old cell phone and made deals on craigslist to trade up to a working Porsche Boxster. Admittedly, it took him 14 swaps over two years, but that’s still pretty impressive.

(via Neatorama)

Car Door Remotes and Uniqueness

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

CarEver wondered how auto manufacturers ensure that car door remotes can’t be used to unlock multiple vehicles? The method they use makes it possible but highly unlikely. Also turns out that you shouldn’t repeatedly press the unlock button unless you’re near the car. The linked article explains all.

(via Neatorama)

Airless Tires on the Horizon

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

CarI remember hearing about the Tweel and thinking what a great idea it was—no more flat tires and no more wasted gas or uneven wear due to improper inflation. Unfortunately, Michelin hasn’t done much with the technology. But now there’s another contender in the airless tire arena. Let’s hope this military technology makes its way to the consumer market sometime soon.

(via Neatorama)

A World Without Spark Plugs

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

CardThe Ford Motor Company has created a viable system that replaces spark plugs with lasers. According to the linked article, this technology is “more reliable and efficient than current spark plug technology and will enable cars to start more easily in cold and damp conditions.” As an added bonus, fuel usage is reduced because of the increased stability of the combustion. Expect to see this “in the wild” within a couple years.

(via Engadget)

Car Allowance Rebate System

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

CarIf you have an older, less fuel-efficient car and are thinking about buying a new one, then the US government’s CARS program may be for you. It effectively raises the trade-in value of your clunker to either $3500 or $4500, plus whatever you can negotiate for the scrap value. My 1996 S-10 pickup qualifies and is normally worth about $1200, so this program can save some serious money.

Link #1:

Link #2:…
(via digg)

Update: The program has been suspended as of midnight on July 30th, because the government thinks it may have already run out of funds (based on pending sales).

Update #2: The US House of Representatives has allocated an additional $2 billion for the program. This still has to be approved by the Senate and signed into law. I’m not that impressed, however, considering that it took less than a week to burn through the initial $1 billion.

Update #3: An additional $2 billion has been added to the program. Note that CARS is popularly known as “Cash for Clunkers”.

Auto Accident Checklist

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

CarThe linked article has a printable accident checklist (PDF) that should probably be in everyone’s glove box. I’ve learned to call the police, even if it doesn’t seem like much damage, because car body repair is hideously expensive. In my first significant accident, back in the early ’90s, I had to pay a $500 deductible because I didn’t get enough information to track down the other person (who was at fault) or his insurance company.

(via Lifehacker)