Category Archives: Technology News

4 Gas Mileage Myths You Probably Believe

4 Gas Mileage Myths You Probably Believe, The summer road-trip season is here, and according to AAA, consumers can expect to see prices to hover around last summer’s high of $3.55 and $3.70 per gallon. Can you have your fun in the sun while avoiding pain at the pump?

Increasingly, newer cars are smashing old gas-saving truisms. For instance, buying a smaller car seems like a reasonable way to achieve higher gas mileage. However, compare a subcompact like the smart fortwo, which gets 38 mpg to a Chevrolet Cruze”s 36 mpg, and it becomes clear that smaller isn’t always better. Plus, the Cruze can fit five passengers and contains 15 cubic feet of space, while the ForTwo can only squeeze two passengers in 12 cubic feet of space.

Larger, longer sedans give more room for air to flow smoothly around the car than smaller shorter models, which reduces drag while highway driving.

It was once common knowledge that manual transmissions were more efficient, but improvements to automatic transmission mean the fuel use is now often about the same. The same goes for premium gasoline. Unless a car is specifically designed for high-grade gas, the extra cash per gallon is going to go up in smoke.

If everything you thought you knew about saving money on gas is wrong, then what can you do to cut down on fuel costs this summer? Here are a few tips:

Regular Maintenance

New air filters and regular oil changes are good for your car and wallet. Also, take a look at your tires before any road trip. The Environmental Protection Agency says even a slightly under-inflated tires can cost a car in fuel efficiency. By keeping you tires properly inflated, you can improve your vehicle’s gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent, which works out to an equivalent gasoline savings of approximately $0.11 per gallon.

Use Cruise Control

There are times when cruise control isn’t appropriate, such as heavy traffic or when climbing hilly roads,
but if you’re driving over relatively even terrain, cruise control can prevent unnecessary speed changes which waste gas. Cruise control can also keep drivers from creeping up in speed on long trips, saving you money on gas.

Slow Down

Highway driving is the most efficient way to get around, but speed too much and those savings go out the tailpipe. Fueleconomy.gov estimates each 5 mph over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas. You don’t want to drive too slowly on the highway of course, but keeping your speed around or under 70 mph can save a lot of cash on fuel, not to mention speeding tickets.

Travel light, store right

Excessive weight can ruin fuel efficiency in any car, so it is important to prioritize when packing for a long road trip. How you stow your stuff can also have a major effect on gas bills. Hauling cargo on your roof, for example, increases aerodynamic drag and lowers fuel economy by around 2 percent to 8 percent in city driving and 10 percent to 25 percent at Interstate speeds according to fueleconomy.gov.

What Gov’t Will Build Near West PH Sea

What Gov’t Will Build Near West PH Sea, The Philippines also plans its move as China continues to consolidate its West Philippine Sea claim., Defense Dept. to build Air Force facilities near West PH sea, Two Air Force facilities will be built to upgrade the military’s maritime defense over the West Philippine Sea.

The facilities, which will be located in Puerto Princesa, Palawan and in Sanga-Sanga in Tawi-Tawi, are part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) modernization program.

These will support the security and rescue operations at the Malampaya plant, the Reed Banks, and the future Sulu oil rig, the Department of National Defense (DND) said.

Last week, the DND also signed a P882-million contract with an Israeli firm for 28 armored infantry fighting vehicles.

The defense department is also expecting deliveries of additional fighter jets and rotary aircraft.

Oops! Google Offers Entire Nation An Apology

Oops! Google Offers Entire Nation An Apology, A major European square reverts to its World War II-era name on an online map for a few hours., Google apologizes for Berlin map gaffe echoing Third Reich, Google has apologized after someone discovered a popular spot in Berlin had somehow been temporarily renamed in the company’s online map service for the particluarly infamous character to whom it was once dedicated: Adolf Hitler.

The eerie error was apparently discovered by Nico Hagenburger, who posted a screenshot of the mistake to Twitter. The gaffe was first reported by German paper B.Z.

I was at Adolf Hitler Square today-as of GoogleMaps. I thought sb. renamed it before the WWW https://t.co/mT5dal25zz pic.twitter.com/HSxUHZIEEC

- Nico Hagenburger (@Hagenburger) January 9, 2014
“How could this happen?” bellowed top-selling German daily Bild.

The street is actually called Theodor-Heuss-Platz, in honor of the man who served as president of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1959.

The popular Berlin square was called Adolf Hitler Platz for 14 years of the Third Reich era. It was to have played a major role in Hitler’s planned “Germania,” a reimagining of Berlin as an international capital under Nazism, Raw Story reported.

Google has since apologized for the error, NBC News reports.

From NBC News:

“We were made aware of a wrong and inappropriate Berlin street name on Google Maps and have corrected this as quickly as possible,” the Internet search giant said in an email to NBC News. “We apologize for this error.”

Smartphone Repairs Scratches By Itself

Smartphone Repairs Scratches By Itself, LG’s new curved G Flex model features “self-healing” technology that can fix damage to its exterior., When LG announced its curved smartphone, the G Flex, it boasted that the handset was coated with a “self-healing” material and even compared it to Wolverine from X-Men. LG later released a promotional video showing off the tech in action, but it’s only now that someone has put the company’s claims to the test. In YouTube personality / video producer Marques Brownlee’s hands-on with the device, he checks out the self-healing coating with a number of tests.

 

First up is a set of keys, which Brownlee creates some light scratches with. As you’ll see in the video, the LG G Flex essentially “heals” the scratches made. It doesn’t completely remove them, but apparently makes the marks almost invisible to the naked eye. He then carves out a deeper scratch using a knife, which “half heals,” appearing far less visible than it would on a regular phone.

Brownlee has what seems like a sound theory for why the results weren’t perfect, though. LG’s promotional clip was filmed in a controlled temperature environment with the thermostat set to 81 degrees Fahrenheit, and he believes the coating isn’t as effective in cooler climates. While it might not work exactly as advertised, LG’s new coating looks to be a pretty big step forward for the everyday durability of our phones. Let’s hope it comes to models that LG plans on selling outside of Korea sometime soon.

The Doctor Can See You Now … Or Anytime

The Doctor Can See You Now … Or Anytime, Video technology provides specialists across the globe a new way to save time – and lives., – The doctor isn’t in, but he can still see you now.

Remote presence robots are allowing physicians to “beam” themselves into hospitals to diagnose patients and offer medical advice during emergencies.

A growing number of hospitals in California and other states are using telepresence robots to expand access to medical specialists, especially in rural areas where there’s a shortage of doctors.

These mobile video-conferencing machines move on wheels and typically stand about 5 feet, with a large screen that projects a doctor’s face. They feature cameras, microphones and speakers that allow physicians and patients to see and talk to each other.

The Doctor Can See You Now ... Or Anytime

Volcano Found Under Antarctic Ice Sheet

Volcano Found Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, The discovery confirms suspicions of volcanic activity that triggers tremors in West Antarctica., Active Volcano Discovered Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Earthquakes deep below West Antarctica reveal an active volcano hidden beneath the massive ice sheet, researchers said today (Nov. 17) in a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The discovery finally confirms long-held suspicions of volcanic activity concealed by the vast West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Several volcanoes poke up along the Antarctic coast and its offshore islands, such as Mount Erebus, but this is the first time anyone has caught magma in action far from the coast.

“This is really the golden age of discovery of the Antarctic continent,” said Richard Aster, a co-author of the study and a seismologist at Colorado State University. “I think there’s no question that there are more volcanic surprises beneath the ice.”

The volcano was a lucky find. The research project, called POLENET, was intended to reveal the structure of Earth’s mantle, the layer beneath the crust. In 2010, a team led by scientists from Washington University in St. Louis spent weeks slogging across the snow, pulling sleds laden with earthquake-monitoring equipment.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, The year 2011 has been a very memorable year for Microsoft. The company posted record revenue for the June-ended fiscal year and sold out a whopping 500 million copies of its Windows 7. However, when it comes to new product release, it was not a good year for the Redmond based software giant. Notwithstanding Office 365 and Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has no more new product releases in 2011. But, next year seems to be more dynamic for Microsoft. The company has plans to launch many groundbreaking products in 2012 like Windows 8 OS, an Apple App store -like Windows Web store, Windows 8 tablets and many other products. Here we discuss five much-craved Microsoft products for next year.

Windows 8 is Microsoft’s next major update to its Windows operating system for PCs. Microsoft launched Windows 7 three years back. The computer world is now looking for the next biggest update for the OS. Microsoft previewed Windows 8 at Computex Taipei, 2011 and it will realize mid next year. The new Windows OS will support ARM chips, so it will run on both tablets and personal computers alike. The famous Metro-style user interface, fast web browser Internet Explorer 10 and a dedicated app store will boost Windows 8.
Internet Explorer 10, successor to IE9 is under development at Microsoft. The company released the first IE10 Platform Preview in April at the MIX 11 conference in Las Vegas and it will come live on Windows 8 next year. Along with the Metro UI of Windows 8, IE10 will work quite marvelously. The new version of Internet Explorer will bring you a fast internet experience with lots of features over its predecessor.
To compete with Apple App Store and Android Market, Microsoft has announced a state of the art app store for Windows. The company has made a revolutionary announcement that its Windows 8 app store would support open source apps from third party developers. The Redmond software firm, which is known for its closed software development approach, has taken such a decision to enrich its app store with more apps. Windows 8 app store will deliver apps for both tablets and personal computers.

Microsoft has just hinted its plan to integrate its Xbox gaming console with live TV. So as to make its Xbox system more useful, the company will update look of its Xbox Live service with a Metro-style look. Moreover, users of Verizon’s Fios cable TV service can choose between 26 various channels on their Xbox gaming device. The channels include HBO, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. Many other TV shows will also appear on Xbox.

Every one may have heard about Microsoft’s plan to launch its own tablets with its tablet-friendly Windows 8 OS update. Raising direct competition to Androids and Apple iPad, Microsoft is to design its own Windows 8-based tablets. But, analysts have expressed doubt in the chance for success for Windows 8 tablets. Global tablet customers have already embraced iPad and Android tablets; so there is less chance that a new platform from Microsoft will gain momentum.

According to reports, Microsoft is working with a project to launch a social media site, dubbed Social in fight against both Facebook and Google+. After making a space in web searching with Bing, the Redmond technology firm seems to work out a challenging social media site. Analysts are also cynical of the need for one more social media site, especially when Google+ itself has not made any influence. Anyway, Microsoft has better reasons to come with such a platform.

Of course, Microsoft has to take some brave decisions to remain competitive in the tech market today. In a time desktop computers are replaced by tablets, the company will have to do many more things to remain a big player. Indeed, next year will be a bit crucial for the company, “Next year will be altogether different. Microsoft is prepping the big kahuna of its product arsenal, Windows 8. The company hasn’t set a date, though most analysts expect the flagship operating system to debut before the end of the year,” says Jay Greene of CNET while listing out five things to look for in 2012 for Microsoft.

Onstar Navigation System

Onstar Navigation SystemOnstar Navigation System, A few months ago, an OnStar customer in Shanghai hit the button on his mirror and made a special request. Could the call center operator propose to his fiance for him?

Of course, the operator replied. And when the motorist’s girlfriend hit the button herself later that day, that is exactly what OnStar did. She said yes.

It was yet another milestone in what has been a banner year for OnStar in China. In addition to successfully resolving their first kidnapping, OnStar’s Chinese operators are now handling more than 1 million calls a month. That is a third of what their counterparts in the United States handle each month, but there are about 6 million subscribers in North America compared with just more than 400,000 in China. That means OnStar customers in China are hitting the button a lot more frequently than those in America.

“It’s definitely becoming a reason to buy (a General Motors Co. product) in China,” said Diane Jurgens, who will take over as president of Shanghai OnStar on Jan. 1, noting that Chinese customers consistently rate the firm’s telematics system as one of the five most important reasons for choosing a GM car or truck.

But Jurgens said marketing OnStar in China still poses challenges. While American consumers respond favorably to the company’s commercials that replay actual accident calls, Chinese consumers think the company is trying to jinx them by sending bad energy their way. So OnStar has focused on touting its other features in China, such as turn-by-turn navigation assistance.

That has turned out to be surprisingly popular in a country where roadmaps often are obsolete by the time they are printed.

GM launched Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd. as a joint venture with its Chinese partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., in 2009. It now controls 70 percent of the telematics market in China.

But analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics LLP questions how much of a boost that is providing to GM’s sales in what will soon be the world’s largest car market.

“They could be the leading telematics company, but that and 50 cents will probably get you a good cup of tea in China,” he said. “In China, branding is what is important.”