What's The Carbon Footprint of The PopeMobile?

EP On The Jeep Hack Thing

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2016 Audi A3 TDI

EP On The Jeep Hack Thing

Here’s the audio of my appearance the other day on Bill Meyer’s HD Radio Show: 2015_07_29_KMED      Update: We are this…

2016 Audi A3 TDI

If you’ve been considering a diesel-powered, compact-sized entry-luxury sedan, you might want to consider this: The 2016 Audi A3 TDI’s…

New Car Reviews

2016 Audi A3 TDI

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If you’ve been considering a diesel-powered, compact-sized entry-luxury sedan, you might want to consider this: The 2016 Audi A3 TDI’s city mileage is nearly as good as the Mercedes CLA250’s highway mileage. And the Audi’s highway mileage (43 MPG) is 10-15 MPG better. So says the EPA. In real-world driving, you will find the Audi TDI’s mileage is usually better than the EPA says. Hypermilers have reported mid-high 50s, which is…

2015 VW Touareg TDI

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Years ago, Porsche got flack – and VW praise – for selling the same basic thing in two different wrappers (one of them carrying a considerably higher price tag). I won’t mention names. But I will mention that they’re doing it again – right now. On the one hand, there’s the VW Touareg TDI (diesel). On the other, its corporate cousin – the Porsche Cayenne diesel. Both are the same basic thing, have…

2015 Ford F-150

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They sure went to a lot of trouble – and expense. You’ve probably read about the new Ford F-150. That it has an aluminum body and is now much lighter (by some 700 pounds) than its steel-bodied predecessor. It also has much smaller engines – for the most part – than its rivals, including the tiniest (but strongest) V6 available in a full-size pick-up. Just 2.7 liters – not much…

2015 Nissan Murano

'15 Murano lead

The Lexus RX is a really nice ride. The problem is, it’s also a really expensive ride. Almost $41k to start – and over $50k fully loaded. Meanwhile, you could buy this Nissan Murano – which is very similar in terms of size, layout , what you get (and can get) features and equipment-wise – for just under $29k to start. Or, get it loaded – AWD, 20 inch wheels, LED…

2015 Nissan Pathfinder

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One of the few holes left in the current car market is the one for a full-sized/three-row people-carrier that’s available with all-wheel-drive but which is neither a minivan nor an SUV … and which you can buy for just under (or maybe a little over) $30k. It’s a hole the Nissan Pathfinder is trying to fill. WHAT IT IS The Pathfinder is a full-size crossover SUV. It’ll take seven people in three rows, like…

2015 Chevy Trax

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Remember the Chevy Tracker? The pocket-sized SUV sold (in the U.S.) from 1998 through 2004? It was very popular – and would probably still be around today were it not for the fact that it got outpaced by federal crashworthiness standards that made it effectively illegal to sell the thing. (The same fate befell another successful car that the market still wanted but government outlawed … the original VW Beetle.) Indeed,…

Politics

What’s The Carbon Footprint of The PopeMobile?

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The Pope, it’s said, wears Prada. And travels by Mercedes, too. But apparently, he’d prefer you (and millions of other ordinary human beings) not. Because “global warming.” Er… make that “climate change.” The new – more general – term for the allegedly human-caused alteration of the planet’s weather. “Global warming” had to go because global cooling was also inconveniently happening. This was becoming globally embarrassing. “Climate change” is much better, because it always fits. The climate is constantly changing. And would do so (and has done so) regardless of the presence of man on…

They’re All Government Motors Now

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GM gets ribbed a lot (and rightly so) for being “government motors” … having accepted (no, demanded) enormous sums of taxpayer money in order to avoid bankruptcy. The bailouts were the corporate equivalent of EBT (which conservatives somewhat oddly or at least, inconsistently, dislike . . . their ire apparently reserved for needy and greedy humans rather than needy and greedy corporations). Anyhow, the plain fact is they’re all government motors now. Every car company is a subsidiary of Uncle. Either they are on the dole, or they are on the payroll. Does it really matter…

Hacked

Charlie Miller (right) a security researcher at Twitter,  and Chris Valasek (left), director of Vehicle Security Research at IOActive, have exposed the security vulnerabilities in automobiles by hacking into cars remotely, controlling the cars' various controls from the radio volume to the brakes. Photographed on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 in Ladue, Mo. (Photo © Whitney Curtis for WIRED.com)

Well, I told ya so. First they hacked the Google car. Now, it appears, they – “they” being hackers – could, in principle at least, take over half-a-million Jeeps (and other Fiat-Chrysler vehicles) equipped with in-car WiFi. They’ve already done so in fact with one. According to a report just published on wired.com a guy lost control of his new Jeep Cherokee when someone – using a laptop and sail fawn – hooked in to the vehicle’s systems and began to root around in its electronic guts, kind of like that scene in the…

Why Punish People for “Speeding”?

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Why should anyone be subject to punishment merely for driving “x” speed? Is it not of a piece with punishing someone for merely consuming alcohol? The justification usually given is that “speeding” might cause harm. Ok, sure. The same is true about drinking beer. Someone (generally) might drink beer and beat his wife. But we do not presume (for now) that everyone who drinks beer will beat his wife – and thus, drinking beer must be forbidden. And violators of this policy punished. What about punishing (hold onto that thought) people when –…

Will The Bandit (And General Lee) Be Outlawed Next?

general lee pic

There is a very  good reason why the Confederate flag is under attack. It is because it is the rebel flag. The flag of resistance, of (as columnist Fred Reed so neatly – so accurately –  put it)… leave me the hell alone. This is why it’s favored by rural whites whose great-great-great grandparents never owned slaves nor wanted to – but who can’t stand annoying busybodies (they call ’em Yankees down South but the principle applies generally) who seem to think they are god’s anointed, sent hither to instruct and enlighten. Who cannot…