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5 of the Top Tech Cars of 2010

5 of the Top Tech Cars of 2010

According to CNET, the 5 best tech cars are the 2010 Audi S4, 2009 Cadillac CTS-V, 2010 Nissan GT-R, 2010 Porshe Panamera 4S, and 2011 Volvo S60.


The Audi S4 is a gas sedan with all the standard safety options. It also comes with satellite radio, MP3 sound system, and memory card slot. It has a security system and a trip computer with it. Optional equipment are back-up cameras, video entertainment system, media hard disk MP3 player, and DVD navigation system.It has good performance and gas mileage all together. Its engine is a 3 liter direct injection supercharged V-6. The price of it is about $45,900 with different options.

The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V is a gas engine with all standard safety options. It has satellite radio and MP3 CD and hard-disk system and USB connection. It has heated/cooled seats, security system, multizone climate control, and a trip computer. Optional equipment available are DVD navigation system and video entertainment system. It has a 6.2 liter supercharged V8 very powerful engine and handles very well with magnetically controlled suspension. The price starts at $58,000 depending on options.

The 2010 Nissan GT-R is a gas engine with all standard safety options. It has heated/cooled seats, multizone climate control, keyless start, and security system. Also, it has a trip computer and voice activated navigation. The suspension on it gives it racecar handling which isn’t good for daily life use. It has poor gas mileage but the 2011 model promises to work on these problems. It has a 3.8 liter V6 with twin turbocharged engine with 485 hp. This car starts at about $84,000 and has all options with it.

The Porshe Panamera 4S has a very well tuned engine, dynamic suspension, and a smart clutch. Among most standard options it also has parking distance sensors and rear view camera. It handles very well and has excellent cornering and is surprisingly a practical car. It has a 4.8 liter V8 direct injection engine and 400 hp with 369lb feet of torque. This price starts at about $93,000 depending on options.

The 2011 Volvo S60 is a gas engine with all standard safety options. It has satellite radio, MP3 sound system, multizone climate control, trip computer and a security system. It has assistance features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure and collision warning, and pedestrian warning. It is comfortable for sporty driving and for everyday driving as well. It has a V6 turbocharged engine with lots of horsepower. The price starts at about $37,000 depending on options.

Review of the Canon PowerShot SD630 Digital Elph

Review of the Canon PowerShot SD630 Digital Elph

While many people now have digital cameras, there are a few that still haven’t caught up. This digital camera is so easy to use that I would recommend it to anyone who thinks they are too old or too behind in today’s technological advances to use a digital camera. Yet despite being so easy to use, this camera still boasts many excellent features.

 

This camera is very cute and compact, but it is so much more than that. With 6 megapixels, you definitely have enough to work with later in cropping images and making decent sized prints (how often do you really need prints larger than 16 x 20 inches or so anyway?). The 3x optical zoom is enough for most uses (though unfortunately, you cannot add any attachments to give you more zoom). The scene modes are quite helpful too, especially for those not used to camera settings. This camera even has a movie feature so you can take a quick movie on the go without lugging around your bulky video camera (and yes, the movie feature even plays back the sound on the camera, how cool is that?). There are a lot of great features to this camera, but not so many that the features become overwhelming.

My favorite feature of the Canon PowerShot SD630 Digital Elph, was by far the 3 inch LCD screen. This screen makes it very easy to see what you’re doing. The screen takes up nearly the entire back of the camera (which unfortunately leaves no room for a viewfinder, for those of you who still want that feature). The font sizes on the menus are very reasonable though because of the large screen size (a huge plus for the older generation). And if the screen just isn’t big enough for you to see a small detail of the photo you just took, you can just use the camera’s zoom to zoom in on the picture you just took and see the details (and make sure the photo is clear before you walk away from your subject and lose the opportunity to try another photo later). Also, let’s say you take a variety of vertical photos and horizontal photos. This camera knows when a photo was taken vertically and automatically shows the photo in its proper orientation. A lot of cameras do that nowadays though, so this camera goes even farther

You want to make full use of that screen for vertical photos too? No problem! Just turn the camera vertically and the photo flips so that you can see it full size. I just love that! Canon ensured that this 3 inch screen would be as useful as possible for you.

The thing I’ve always loved about Canon cameras, are all the scene modes. Scene modes take out the guess work for shooting in various settings. Instead of actually having to know something about photography and switching the camera to manual mode, you can just use a scene mode. Taking a portrait? Use portrait mode! Want to take a photo at night? There’s a scene mode for that too! Taking photos of kids and pets? Use the “kids and pets” mode. While this camera doesn’t boast as many scene modes as the Canon video cameras do, it certainly has enough for the average user. In addition to the scene modes, you can just put the camera in automatic or manual mode as well. Manual allows you to change things such as the exposure, white balance (sunny, cloudy, fluorescent, tungsten, etc.), colors (your traditional sepia and black and white, and also things like adjusting for lighter or darker skin tones), and metering as well. While the manual features don’t compare to an SLR, there are probably many more manual features on this camera than on your old film point-and-shoot.

All the features in the world won’t help you though if the camera isn’t easy to use. This camera is definitely very easy to use. You just turn on the camera, decide if you want to take pictures, shoot a movie clip, or look at photos you’ve already taken. You can easily go through the list of scene modes or just shoot in automatic. The movie clip feature is also boasts several features. You can shoot movies at TV quality (640×480, which if you don’t have an LCD TV yet, appears very nice) or smaller as well for just posting short movies online. You can still change the white balance and the colors for videos as well. Looking at photos and movies you’ve taken is easy. Just flip through the images to what you want to see. You can even delete photos right on the camera (now there’s something you certainly never could do with your old film camera!). There’s really no need to even read the manual on this camera it’s so simple to use. The features tend to be pretty self explanatory as you’re going through the menus.

Of course, every camera has its limits. There were a few things I didn’t like about this camera or that I thought others probably wouldn’t like. This camera doesn’t have a viewfinder, which for me is not a problem as I always hated using a viewfinder. However, some people really like their viewfinder and have to have one instead of just having a screen. If that’s the case for you, there are still many digital cameras out there that have viewfinders as well. My biggest problem with it was that I’m so used to shooting with Nikon cameras, that I found the macro on this camera inferior. For most people, the macro on this camera is probably going to be just fine. If you’re buying this camera solely to take photos of flowers, insects, and small objects, I’d recommend something else. Another thing I found fault with, is that you’re not given any opportunity to add attachments. Even on point-and-shoot cameras sometimes I like to be able to add attachments such as filters. I suppose the color features in this camera are supposed to make up for the lack of any ability to add filters. However, if you’d really like to add attachments to your camera, I’d recommend going with something else. There are several cameras out there that do have threads to add attachments. Overall however, I found that this camera was a very good camera for the average user.

If you’re still afraid of digital cameras and don’t yet have one, consider this one. This camera is unbelievably easy to learn and use. Even if you’ve been using a digital camera for awhile now and you’re just looking to upgrade, this is a nice camera and should serve you well. This camera fits easily into your purse or pocket so that you can take it along for all of your vacations, family gatherings, and other events. There are enough features on this camera for it to be really useful, but not so many features that you’ll be overwhelmed. I would highly recommend looking into this camera if you’re considering buying a digital point-and-shoot.

Augmented reality on the iPhone

Augmented reality on the iPhone

This very useful AND sexy map application is one of the first augmented reality app on the iPhone, created by acrossair. Too good to be true? I’m waiting to see it available on the iTunes store before I believe they actually made it. Anyone know of another augmented reality app on the iPhone?

 

Wind Power: The Cutting Edge Alternative Energy

Wind Power: The Cutting Edge Alternative Energy

Wind power is 2006’s cutting edge of alternative energy compared to the cutting edge technology of 2006, solar power. There are at least a dozen U.S.-based companies that have a smaller version of the industrial sized wind turbines for the private sector that can be easily placed in anyone’s backyard.

This type of news is great for such owners as Andy Kruse founder of Southwest Windpower based in Flagstaff, Arizona. Andy Kruse teamed up with scientists at the National Renewable Energy Lab after raising $10 Million in financing to create a sleek 33-foot turbine that has a blade span of six feet that is designed to work in wind speeds as low as nine miles per hour. The Skystream 3.7 can provide up to 80 percent of a household’s electricity.

During the first couple of months of production there were 150 of the Skystream’s shipped at the whopping price tag of $13,000 each. While turning down numerous investors, Mr. Kruse is projecting $24 million in revenues for 2007. The revenues estimated for 2007 are based on the fact that worldwide people are taking heed to the uses of Windpower as a source of energy for home use.

Andy Kruse’s major target for marketing the Skystream is to those who live on large plots of land. This targeted group basically consists of 13 million Americans who are wealthy consumers who live on a half acre or more of the land.

The targeted market for Southwest Windpower could change dramatically if the newly elected Congress passes a bipartisan bill providing tax credits up to 30 percent of the cost of the wind user’s turbine. There are already states that offer such credits to users of wind turbines. Those consumers will also have the opportunity to sell any excess power to utility companies such as Xcel Energy.

Where Tax Credits or Rebates are Being Offered

The following states in the U.S. are already offering such credits or rebates: Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and California.

The following countries allow consumers to collect credit or cash from their governments for excess kilowatts are: Germany, Spain, and Canada.

Peter Edwards, a partner at the Altira Group and investor at Southwest Windpower, sees more opportunities for makers, dealers, and installers of efficient batteries. These types of batteries are capable of storing excess wind energy for at least two days.

With more and more opportunities for wind turbines opening up across the U.S. and around the world, the ability for the average Joe to purchase their own wind turbines may not be that far out of reach.

Apple’s New Product: The IPhone

Apple’s New Product: The IPhone

What do you get when you combine a cell phone, an iPod video, a palm pilot, and a computer? Apple’s new product, the iPhone.
Instead of starting with a cell phone and adding from there, Apple started with an iPod video and worked from there.

The iPhone is about the size of an iPod video and has a touch screen like that of a Palm-Pilot. The touchscreen is 3.5 inches. It also has a lock like the iPods do to keep you from accidentally activating something that you don’t want to activate-like calling someone.

Just like the iPods, the iPhone is used with iTunes.

You can use the iPhone to listen to music or audio books and watch movies, TV shows, or music videos. A cool new feature on the iPhone is that you can flip through album covers, pictures, and movie covers just like you would if you were flipping through the music selection of a juke box. The touchscreen allows you to do this with a flick of a finger.

The touchscreen is also very useful for calling people. You can just touch a name or a number that is stored in your contacts, favorites or call log. Or you can dial just like on a regular cell phone by bringing up a keypad.

When you have your iPhone hooked up to your computer, it will add addresses and contacts that are stored in your computer to your iPhone. This is done the same way as adding pictures, movies, music, TV shows, etc. to your iPod.

The iPhone has a cool ability which has only been played with in cell phones before this: Internet capability. Previous Internet capability on cell phones was limited to checking your email, ring tone downloads, and cell phone versions of web pages-which are usually limited to text.

The iPhone’s capability is comparative to a laptop computer, it’s just got a smaller memory. It also has full HTML capacity.

You can check your email, search the Internet for any web page that you want to see,type reply to your email,etc. You can see the whole web page or zoom in a particular area to make the letters and pictures actually big enough to see and read!

The iPhone has a full QWERTY keyboard(like the one on most computers) which fixes mistakes when you are typing. The keyboard is brought up on the touchscreen and is easier to use than keyboards on a regular smart phone like the Blackberry.

You can hook up to the Internet with any WiFi connection.

I would get one of these if I didn’t already have a cell phone that I was happy with and an iPod. But as soon as the cell breaks, I’m getting an iPhone.

Thanks to the Apple website for technical details.