Cars, Culture, and Etc.

Archive for the ‘Link’ Category

Comment: Overseas awesome #2

In Comment, Link on July 11, 2008 at 9:56 am
Honda Vamos

Honda Vamos

As if the Japanese could get any cooler. This vehicle, the Honda Vamos, was found in Honda Japan’s awesome Seevert gallery. Apparently it used a 354cc engine, which is as much displacement as your typical pop can.
There’s even a video on how to raise and lower the top!

Comment: Ethics and auto journalism

In Comment, Link on May 21, 2008 at 12:02 pm


I completely agree with Joe’s editorial and your response. And the horror with the situation is that in my opinion (having freelanced for them for a number of years), the Star Wheels section has the best ethics policy around.

I personally still follow the Star’s policies, including not accepting gifts over $40. And the air miles issue was still…up in the air…but I decided a few weeks ago to donate the miles accumulated at the end of the year to a charity.

Despite the Wheels writers (and some select freelancers) holding themselves to a high standard, where is AJAC in all of this? Why shouldn’t automakers and journalists come together to revamp the system? They’re all members of the same (fucking) organization.

The fact that nothing has changed yet is proof that the voting majority of AJAC members don’t feel their ethics can be bought — but fail to put concrete systems in place.

I was explaining to a good friend just last week the perk issue, and her first reaction was, “You write about products. Perks are part of the process. What’s the problem?”

I said the problem is that for the car buying public, the wrong (or a bought) recommendation can put them upside-down in an expensive loan for years. Cars can emotionally and financially strain people to the point of breaking.

Consider for a second a single mom with an old car, who turns to a reviewer for a new car recommendation. Reviewers not stating depreciation, residual value, fuel economy, projected reliability, and an honest review of the vehicle can unwillingly put her thousands of dollars in the hole.

I went on to say that although it’s consumer reporting, perks — especially gifts — should simply not be offered anymore. The simplest way to do this is for journalists to say no to gifts, but I maintain the question (and choice) of accepting gifts shouldn’t happen in the first place.

Automotive journalists, when doing their jobs properly, protect consumers from making what is generally the second-biggest purchase of their adult lives.

But throw in the usual turnover of a new car entering our 1.5 car families every 3-5 years…and doing our jobs takes on much more significance.

I just wish I didn’t get slapped by our advertisers every time I’m honest.

Comment: World Wide Telescope

In Comment, Link on March 19, 2008 at 9:41 am

I’ve been browsing the presentations on TED for a few hours now, and decided to check out some of the new videos posted. One of which is the World Wide Telescope which, incredibly (in Spring 2008):

WorldWide Telescope … enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich, immersive experience.

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Link: Social Media Stupefaction (SMS)

In Link on March 19, 2008 at 9:35 am

A brilliant post that explores relationship between our growing desire to capture. Every. Last. Nugget. Of. Information.

Comment: Alltop RSS aggregate

In Analysis, Link on March 19, 2008 at 9:33 am

If you’re not up on the latest Web 2.0 trends, fear not: neither am I. But RSS aggregates seem to be a huge traffic-driver these days, mostly because people still like their date categorized. Just like a newspaper. And searching requires typing? Oh noes!
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Video: Chris Bangle on design

In Link, Video on March 19, 2008 at 9:29 am

This video is wonderful for a few reasons…

  • It’s been a great distraction over my lunch hour.
  • I’ve spoken to Bangle, but never realized his unique accent.
  • He brilliantly describes the madness in loving the auto-mobile.
  • He discusses BMW’s very interesting Deep Blue project, aka the BMW X5.

Looking back at the larger, more interactive video on the TED site, I noticed an interesting comment, by Larry Pipitone:

This is a wonderful talk about art and design, but Bangle didn’t design the Pagani Zonda. The Renaissance art reference is out the window for me.

Chris Bangle speaks of passion and history, but he has stripped BMW of both elements. A marque of engineering triumph and purposeful design has turned into an illustrator’s display of his careful linework and American machismo – an utter failure in the evolution of the company. Dare I say, the last true BMW was the E46 M3.

Thanks again for the design talk, but I don’t buy the follow-through.

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Link: A note on the free economy

In Link on March 18, 2008 at 10:05 am

Ben Kunz of Thought Gadgets discusses the pros and cons of a future with free services:

“Free” has a challenge, because most free models are underwritten by advertisers — who only pay if they get results. The problem is consumers are paying less and less attention to peripheral marketing messages as they begin to control the social conversation, and this undercuts the entire model. Deep in the heart of “free” a cancer is forming called diminishing advertiser response.

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Link: GM spending more online

In Link on March 18, 2008 at 8:56 am

From Adage:

The country’s third-largest advertiser is getting ready to shift fully half of its $3 billion budget into digital and one-to-one marketing within the next three years. And as GM goes, so goes the entire automotive industry — the leading advertising category that pumped some $9.42 billion into the ad economy last year.

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Link: Why a manual typewriter is best

In Comment, Link on March 11, 2008 at 2:09 pm
Great post I stumbled upon after checking out Jil’s links. It fits in perfectly with my comments on unplugging.