The $99.95 Fitbit One is one of the most advanced fitness trackers money can buy. Besides measuring steps, this gadget can record how many stairs you climb, the calories you burn, and even the quality of your sleep. Its clippable design, however, isn't as convenient or secure as competing wrist-style devices such as the Jawbone Up, Nike FuelBand, and even Fitbit's own Flex. And unlike the Fitbit One, those devices are made to be worn around the clock, not just clipped to clothing when you hit the gym or head out for a run. So for those … Read more
Can you laugh about suicide?
Can you laugh about suicide while you're trying to sell someone a car?
It seems that someone at one of Hyundai's ad agencies felt that selling a healthy car merited flogging a dead man. Or, at least, a man who wanted to be dead by his own hand.
The perfect opportunity, the agency must have thought, came with the Hyundai iX35. It has 100 percent water emissions -- nothing noxious, you see. That's a killer feature.
So they made an ad in which a man tries to commit suicide in his garage … Read more
The advent of Bluetooth systems in cars became a boon for drivers, enabling hands-free phone calls and wirelessly streaming music from a smartphone. But if your car is more than five years old, it likely does not feature this technology. The Kinivo BTC450 makes for an easy and inexpensive way of adding Bluetooth to an older car.
The Kinivo BTC450 is a Bluetooth adapter. Lacking its own speaker, it is designed to plug into a car stereo's auxiliary input.
And therein lies its biggest limitation.
The majority of cars equipped with an auxiliary input but no Bluetooth system were … Read more
Car-focused movies, such as the "Fast and Furious" series, show high-speed chases where the hero hits a nitrous button, causing his car to rear up, the front axle leaving the ground. The 2013 Kia Sportage SX felt a bit like that when I mashed the gas pedal. And it was a front-wheel-drive crossover.
The SX version of the Sportage gets near-uncontrollable power from a turbocharger.
From the moment I first looked at the Pebble Watch, it was clear that this was a device designed to be purely about apps. Unfortunately, none were really available until a week ago, when Pebble at last released an SDK, and along with it, updated firmware for the Pebble watch and a revised smartphone app.
Now, the number of user-made indie Pebble apps is steadily growing, and there are even places to go to browse them: Pebble's own watch face community message boards, and sites like My Pebble Faces.… Read more
Continuing my series of life with four different activity trackers, it's time to talk about the Fitbit One.
In what will likely disappoint several of my Fitbit-loving friends, it's my least favorite of the tracking devices I'm using because I do so many "non-step" activities. But the Fitbit does have a lot to offer, and I have high hopes for the forthcoming Fitbit Flex wristband.
For now...my life with the One.
Fitbit currently sells two trackers. The basic Fitbit Zip ($60) tracks steps taken, calories burned, and distance traveled. The Fitbit One that I've been using ($100) adds tracking of stairs climbed, hours of sleep, and sleep quality. A wristband version, the Fitbit Flex, will be out in the coming weeks. I'll be looking at that in the near future.… Read more
If you rob a bank and get away in a driverless Prius, will the owner be indicted as the driver? Or will Toyota? Or maybe Google?
If your driverless car decides -- as so many machines do in movies -- that it has a mind of its own, will you be responsible when it decides to mount the curb and plow straight into your favorite donut store? And what if someone hacks into your driverless car and you suddenly end up in Alaska, with an instruction to mow down moose?
You'll tell me this will never happen. I will point you to the fine profits regularly earned by the world's insurance companies.
I suspect that not everyone has the answers yet for all the ramifications of ceding your steering wheel to Google's machines.
Thankfully, though, all those who have the deepest knowledge of the self-driving future will be meeting in June to have a freewheeling exchange.… Read more
Not satisfied with just smartphones, MP3 players, and computers anymore, the rumor mill has now tacked on "smartwatch" to the list of potential hot items that Apple will develop and manufacture. Dubbed "the iWatch," chatter about Apple producing this sort of wearable tech is timely, considering that smartwatches seem to be on the mind of a number of other companies as well.
From bendable glass to an OLED screen, we gather all the dish on Apple's iWatch. Please note that we'll continue to update this roundup periodically and feel free to let us know … Read more