Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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387

June 14, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

At nearly 70, Jeep is still the one.

Jeep has such a storied and legendary history while also being the one brand most synonymous with offroad. For nearly half a century the iconic runabout carried American servicemen and women to and from their assigned posts and in recent decades the Jeep Wrangler has garnered more “best of” awards in the offroad segment than …

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367

June 11, 2010 • Autos, Editorials

Chevy vs. Chevrolet: Social media schools GM

Call it a simple misunderstanding or an experiment in the power of the new social media, but General Motors quickly found out yesterday just how fast and wide a wildfire of emotion can spread electronically. No sooner did word come out from the General that anyone with corporate connections needs to shy away from using …

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345

June 8, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

2010 Lexus GS450h Delivers ‘Warm Fuzzies’

All photos courtesy Lexus Lexus (via parent company Toyota) has been providing the auto industry with production model hybrid vehicles longer than most and with greater ferocity, and, under most circumstances, we do not associate hybrid vehicles being much more than “eco-friendly” or “miserly” – we certainly keep from allowing our imaginations wander anywhere near …

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231

June 3, 2010 • Autos, Editorials

LeaseTrader.com app picks leads to ‘Wheels of Summer’

From the good folks at LeaseTrader.com came an e-mail announcing their picks for the top car leasing apps for smartphones. While I personally have not explored the depths of the auto lease, I know it is a choice many consumers have made. Not to kill their thunder, I got to wondering that with summer upon …

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380

June 2, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

Volvo C70 Rocks the ‘Wow’ Factor

All photos courtesy Volvo A Volvo with “wow” factor and, dare I say it, sex appeal? One does not normally associate the three-letter expression of excitement and surprise with a Volvo vehicle but the C70 hardtop convertible coupe is changing all that. Re-introduced a few years back and refreshed last year, the latest C70 is …

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357

May 26, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

Despite Early Issues, 2010 Toyota Prius Best Yet

(All photos courtesy Toyota) Toyota Prius is the ubiquitous hybrid. And yes, I did have to look that word up. The 2010 model is the third generation Prius to hit U.S. soil and this new midsize model bring better fuel economy, enhanced performance and modern styling to the platform. It is roomier, quieter and equipped …

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291

May 25, 2010 • Autos, News

iPhone Calls Shotgun With New Safe Driver App

Here is an app that caught my interest as soon as I saw the e-mail. Worry is probably the leading cause of stress for many parents and vehicle fleet managers alike. Dangerous Decisions has released an Apple iPhone app designed to monitor driving conditions in a vehicle and it is available as a basic free …

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391

May 21, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

Bimmer not a bummer, just different drummer: BMW 335i coupe

Stop the presses. An automotive journalist has been discovered that does not love, love, love the BMW 3-series. What is this heresy? Refusing to drink the Kool-Aid? Next they will be telling us this global warming scare is not all it is cracked up to be and that American automakers will be profitable despite all …

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423

May 20, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

2010 MAZDA3 and MAZDASPEED3 leave you grinning

As I look at the new front fascia for the 2010 model year MAZDA3 I wonder if designers found a little inspiration from CGI artists working on the latest Alice in Wonderland movie. Perhaps the two parties share a favorite pub and the latter left some napkin sketches lying around as carelessly as an Apple …

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198

May 18, 2010 • Autos, Editorials

OnStar Googles Volt

Photo courtesy GM While I don’t mean this as negative criticism of a recent press release, I do find the meat behind the message a bit premature for the masses and limited in range and use. And I thank them (sort of) for the revelation it led to. OnStar is announcing they will be at …

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355

May 14, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

MINI Cooper John Cooper Works convertible – Oliver Twist finally gets his wish

All photos by the Author The tide has turned on large, mobile real estate-hogging vehicles here in the U.S. and the new trend is small – OK, mini. And one of my favorite vehicles of the past decade has been the MINI Cooper. It was love at first sight (and drive) when the millennial Cooper …

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369

May 5, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

Ford F-150 expanded portfolio: Harley and Raptor

If it seems like reviews of certain brands seem to come in waves it is because I get the vehicles by brand in waves. There are five companies regionally located here in north Texas that rep for the major automakers. A couple of them only handle families of brands, i.e. the Ford office delivers Ford/Lincoln/Mercury …

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273

May 3, 2010 • Autos, Events

Chevrolet celebrates diamond anniversary of Suburban

I attended an event today at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Arlington, Texas, that gave me cause for deeper reflection. Chevy is celebrating the 75th year of the Suburban model. A single product with three-quarters of a century lineage – now that is something. It got me to wondering: In this modern era of …

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163

April 22, 2010 • Reviews

WiebeTech ToughTech Mini pocket drives: Functional portability

For many, portability is a key determiner when considering new technology, and functional portability is an absolute priority. Myself, I chose to ditch the behemoth desktop computing system years ago in favor of a highly capable new generation of laptops. And as has been the case for my workstation at home, I am ladened with …

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381

April 16, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

2010 Jeep Liberty offers bit of freedom from the day-to-day

Photos courtesy Jeep While Jeep heritage has been going strong for more than half a century, most of its product lineup is still in its infancy. Compass and Patriot are actually more like adopted children – loved by their new parents but not sharing any DNA. Then there is Liberty. The Jeep Liberty was first …

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349

April 9, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

2010 Toyota 4Runner the “Miley Cyrus” of SUVs

Photos courtesy of Toyota The State Fair of Texas hosted the world debut of the fifth-generation 4Runner midsize SUV this past fall. The event marked the 25th anniversary for 4Runner, and celebrating more than 1.5 million units sold since launch. “Backed by a quarter-century of heritage combined with the integration of the latest comfort, convenience …

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316

April 7, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

Ford’s EcoBoost a real “Ego”Boost

Ford’s new engine technology – dubbed EcoBoost – might be a bit misleading to some underestimating driving enthusiasts. “The power of a V-8 with the fuel economy of a six” may not have motoring maniacs lining up at Ford and Lincoln dealerships, but it should. My first experience with EcoBoost was in the new Taurus …

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160

March 25, 2010 • Autos

Ford SYNC Technology Hits Milestone

photo courtesy of Ford The Ford SYNC voice-controlled communications and infotainment system made headlines this week with the 2-millionth installation. While all new Ford/Lincoln/Mercury vehicles I have been testing over the past couple of years include this feature I must admit I rarely, if ever, use it. For one, I don’t talk on the phone …

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461

March 22, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster

For some strange reason (dumb luck I suppose), my time behind the wheel of the new 370Z from Nissan has been met with frustrating limitations. When first released in coupe form last year, I found myself only getting to spend an afternoon with the vehicle and most of that during rush hour. More recently, Nissan …

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155

March 11, 2010 • Autos, Events

Chevy launches social media vehicles at SXSW

Austin, Texas, home to the “Keep Austin Weird” campaign, is preparing for one of the hottest gatherings around – the annual South By Southwest Film, Interactive and Music festival – March 12-21. The breakdown is such: Interactive: March 12-16 Film: March 12-20 Music: March 17-21 Corporate sponsors have jumped on board and this year that …

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333

March 8, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

2011 Ford Super Duty the answer to the $64,000 question

Didn’t Ford just give us a new Super Duty, like, two years ago? Yes they did. So why a complete makeover for this segment? The government. Yes, lawmakers in our nation’s capitol have mandated stricter emissions guidelines for the (diesel-powered) heavy duty pickup segment for 2010 and automakers have hit the end of their “grace …

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