By Chuck Cage and Amber WilliamsPosted 01.02.2012 at 11:00 am 8 Comments
Sledgehammers are the monsters of demolition. They can deliver enough force to pound boulders into dust, but strangely, it doesn't take much to break them in two. When workers miss their target and whack the hammer's handle on debris, called overstriking, the hammerhead can snap off, becoming a dangerous projectile. Wilton guarantees its Bad Ass Sledge Hammers (B.A.S.H.) against breaks, and will cut a $1,000 check to anyone who can destroy one. Depending on the model, up to six steel rods run the length of the handle and affix to a plate inside the head, holding the two parts together.
For 35 years, Gore-Tex has dominated the market for waterproof, breathable fabrics, but this spring it has some competition. Textile maker Polartec has developed its own waterproof, breathable fabric that threatens to trump Gore-Tex's latest. We put both through the wringer to see which stands out.
Ford aims to boost mileage throughout its lineup, no hybrid necessary
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 09.12.2009 at 6:52 pm 2 Comments
It's the ultimate conundrum of automobile engines: how to add muscle without chugging gas. Ford's solution is EcoBoost, a new family of turbocharged engines that will be available on 90 percent of Ford's lineup by 2013—that's roughly 1.3 million new rides worldwide each year. We recently tested one of the first models out of the gate, the 2010 Lincoln MKT, whose 3.5-liter, twin-turbo V6 cranks out 355 horsepower—more than many larger V8s, including the 4.2-liter in the Audi Q7 SUV.
An ergonomic joystick with haptic feedback replaces complicated controls on the new Lexuses
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 08.07.2009 at 4:40 pm 1 Comment
Since satellite radio, Bluetooth-connected cellphones and navigation systems all began competing for a driver’s attention, car companies have been trying to develop control systems intuitive enough that drivers can command their car’s gizmos without careening into a tree. The smartest new interface we’ve seen in a while is from Lexus, whose Remote Touch system combines a mouse-like joystick with haptic feedback and a high-mounted display screen.
By Mark AndersPosted 07.01.2009 at 4:27 pm 2 Comments
SeaDoo’s GTX Limited promises to do everything fast—even slow down. As the first personal watercraft with brakes, it aims to make riding easier and reduce accidents by stopping in half the usual distance.
This very smart car is a funhouse of automotive technology. But does any of it make driving easier?
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 05.12.2009 at 12:40 pm 6 Comments
When even an $18,000 Honda offers a navigation system, an $81,000 luxury sedan has to work harder to impress. For BMW's 7-Series, the techno lures include computer-enhanced performance from the twin-turbocharged V8 and enough gizmos to equip the cockpit of the Starship Enterprise. We spent more than 1,000 miles testing and grading the 750i.
Last week, Skype released a client for the iPhone, and the whole world -- or at least 50 million iPhone users -- can rejoice. With free calls to other Skype users, the new app (available free from the Apple app store or from Skype)is ground-breaking, because it means you can place Internet calls without having to use AT&T carrier service. And, iPod Touch users now have a reliable VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) tool that is a real game-changer. Essentially, Skype turns the iPod Touch into a cell phone, without any carrier service.
Does the client really work? I tested the service over the past week, and found that it is very reliable in specific conditions, for both local calls and international chats. Skype for iPhone does have a few hang-ups though, and not the kind you'd normally hope for from a phone.
Now you can rock out even with puny laptop speakers. Normally when you try to pump up the bass using the equalizer settings in iTunes or other software, you inadvertently distort your music's sound by boosting frequencies that small speakers can't reproduce. New software and chips promise crisper sound and fuller bass, using tricks such as toning down the extra-low frequencies that your speakers can't handle. We tested the tech by cranking the volume on CDs, DVDs and MP3s on three laptops.
It may at first sound like a Franken-feature. Do I really want to surf the Web on my camera? Of course not. But adding a Web browser makes Sony's new G3 far more powerful than any other Wi-Fi equipped camera.
Like perfect cellphone reception, wireless HDMI is a radio technology that’s long been promised and has shown little sign of materializing. But finally, it’s here. Gefen’s HDMI UWB Extender is not the first high-def A/V streamer to hit the US. (Sony’s Bravia Wireless Link has that distinction). But it’s the first that can fully replace an HDMI cable by offering up to 1080 progressive HD video.