The new and highly anticipated 2008 BMW M3 embodies many qualities that made BMW's reputation. This rear-wheel-drive slugger leaves a little room to play with the handling, so expert drivers can learn to work with the car on track days, yet it works perfectly well in the daily commute, with many creature comforts, such as cutting-edge cabin tech and fine low-speed drivability. With its sizable trunk and usable rear seats, you could even make the argument that it is practical, as long as you ignore the fuel economy.
After reviewing the pricey Volkswagen Touareg 2, we were happy to see a more likely people's car in the form of the humble 2008 Volkswagen Jetta. While you have to pony up about $20,000 to get one, the Jetta is definitely on the affordable end of the scale, especially when you take into account its standard features that are sure to make any commute safe and comfortable. The Jetta offers a good value proposition in no-frills style.
It's also the first car that we've seen where we were happy that it didn't include a navigation … Read more
"Taut" became our word of the day as we started to test out the 2008 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet. There is nothing loose about this car--it goes exactly where you point it and evenly distributes power when you push the accelerator. Its exterior lines are simple, with no excessively flared fenders or gaudy spoilers, maintaining the original 911 look. Our 911 model gets a lot of modifiers in this incarnation: the "4" means all-wheel-drive, the "S" marks it as a sport version, and "Cabriolet" is a fancy word for convertible.
But … Read more
Social network Hi5, founded in the San Francisco Bay Area but most influential in Latin America, announced Monday that the application program interface (API) for its developer platform is now live. This means that, as with other social networks that have opened up their code, third-party developers can create applications for the site.
More than 7,700 developers and development companies have already signed on to create apps for Hi5, which has 80 million registered users. (Note that the 80 million refers to total user accounts, not necessarily active ones.)
OK, I'm not really sure what they are exactly, but they're kinda cool. Found these Mutant Ears on the Toy Design Workshop site, where they claim the things amplify sound to create "an audiotastic experience." The Mutant Ears were presented at the Mattel Student Design Summit 2006. There's also a wacky Mutant Ears "commercial" on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.
Now that Yahoo has finally and officially signed on to the OpenSocial API bandwagon (see Techmeme), the company that Microsoft might buy has joined with MySpace.com and Google to create the OpenSocial Foundation. Facebook is still missing in action, considering whether joining the OpenSocial Foundation is in the best interests of its membership--or its own platform.
OpenSocial provides a useful piece of functionality, solving a developer problem by allowing applications developed with the APIs to run on different services without modification--write once, play many. A photo-sharing application could tap into the social graphs of Orkut, Bebo, MySpace, Ning, or … Read more
Are you tired of getting cut off every time your inconsiderate neighbor shuts down his Wi-Fi router? Do you find yourself sitting in the hallway outside your apartment door just to make sure your connection doesn't drop off? If so, this may be for you.
Hawking's "Hi-Gain Wireless-G Dish Adapter" connects to your computer's USB port and claims to increase the range of wireless connections by as much as 300 percent, GadgetGrid says, as well as improve speeds. It works with both desktops and laptops, though it might be a bit cumbersome when traveling with … Read more
The great corporate graveyard is filled with hundreds, maybe thousands, of technology companies that managed to go public and then fizzled. Still, most of them weren't going anywhere and never should have gone public to begin with.
But venture capitalists funded them, investment banks underwrote them, analysts wrote glowing reports about them, and you and I bought into it, gullible lemmings that we are. Sorry for being such a negatron; that's just the way it is.
Anyway, what's different about these 10 companies is that they were once important, maybe even exciting. And now, for one reason or another, they're fading slowly and tediously into obscurity. Like people, most companies go out, not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Depressing, isn't it?… Read more
As if reality were too mundane for you, many of the vendors at this year's CES would like to sell you a chair that vibrates in synch with your home theater system, a ultra-thin Hi-Def TVs that defies reality in terms of fidelity, clarity and color and now, televisions that attempt to be 3-D. Not satisfied? How about high-definition cameras? While I can't show you a picture of what 3-D TV image looks like, it's nowhere as cool as you may think.The people in the picture look like the SIMS and kind of resemble animated diorama. … Read more