Haven’t you always wished that you had a non-violent approach to dealing with idiotic motorists? Throwing up middle-fingers, rolling down the window and screaming or laying on the horn usually causes more harm than good. Especially in Los Angeles where this can quickly lead to a gun fight on the 405. Now, with the advent of Zapatag.com you can perform a couple of “Woosah” relaxation exercises and take down the license plate of the offending party. You can then go to the Zap-A-Tag website, and as a registered user, enter in the plate information, location and describe the offense. You can also now use Twitter, either on your mobile phone or pc!
By now most of you are probably familiar with Trapster, the social network, speed trap sharing application that helps keeps the fuzz out of your life. It’s available for the iPhone, Blackberry and many other phones such as the Nokia N95 and Windows Mobile devices with GPS. Garmin and TomTom have also hopped on board. If you don’t have a compatible device, Trapster has a website that provides the same information and features at trapster.com.
In any case, the Trapster application allows registered members to view as well as add to the database of user alerts. Trapster has a multi-faceted system wherein a user can both enter and view Live Police Traps, Unusual Hiding Places or Enforcement Points, Red Light Cameras, Fixed Speed Camera, Mobile Speed Cameras, Combo Cameras (red light and speed photoenforcement cameras) along with Checkpoints. In addition, symbols are presented in either green, yellow, red or gray to indicate the confidence level. Red is the highest confidence followed by yellow and then green for lowest. Gray means that the alert has pretty much been voted unsubstantiated.
Carticipate is a cool mobile application for the iPhone that provides a location-based platform for ride sharing. As a driver, you first enter where you are going and when, the number of seats you have available and if you are a serial killer. Just kidding, although the safety and comfort factor of carpooling with strangers is a small hurdle that will have to be overcome. So, the information you provide is then broadcast and helps others in the same geographic area locate other travelers. Because this is a fledgling effort, like any social networking proposition, it’s only truly successful once it reaches critical mass. So, for now, you may be limited to your close circle of friends and family if you can get everyone rounded up and on board. Let’s walk through the screenshots below:
That’s the claim, but the question is whether or not the G-Tech/Pro actually fits the bill. In an effort to determine this, we reached out to G-Tech to demo a unit. Jovo Majstorovic, inventor/founder of the G-Tech, was nice enough not only to accept our request but also to sit down with me for a long chat to discuss current and possible future products.
There are a variety of performance meters on the market, running the gambit in price and features from the $12.99 Dynolicious app for the iPhone to the professional $10,000+ Correvit Datron dynamic vehicle testing system. The more expensive systems can measure slip, pitch and roll angle and are able to connect to a car’s internal systems like ABS sensors. There are even application specific units such as the $750 DriftBox from VBOX with both built-in GPS and the ability to measure drift angle. But at the end of the day, if you are a typical auto enthusiast and weekend warrior, you want a device that’s accurate, inexpensive and gives you the essential metrics that you require. In other words, you want the G-Tech/Pro.
There once was a time when you had to pull out your engine and hardwire it to a dynamometer to get power and torque measurements at the crankshaft or put your ride on a drive roller and use a chassis dynamometer to get stats on power delivered to the wheel. That’s so like 2007. Now, thanks to the Apple iPhone and a team of gear-head developers at BunsenTech, an application aptly named Dynolicious handles all this for the everyday performance junky and amateur racer set.
Porsche Design, the german auto company’s merchandise shop, puts out loads of cool consumer stuff. Over the years they have had full lineups of fresh men’s and women’s clothing, watches, sunglasses, caps, belts, key rings, cuff links, golf accessories, racing gear, luggage, specialty bags, model cars, children’s toys, audio players and navigation systems. Oh yeah, and mobile phones too! The Porsche Design P9522 cell phone is not the company’s first foray into the mobile market, but it is their best effort yet. Similar to the new Apple MacBook, this phone is constructed out of a single chuck of aluminum. It has a very clean candy-bar form factor and is heavy and solid.
Blaupunkt has teamed up with miRoamer to bring to market the world’s first in-dash Internet radio head unit. Debuted at the 2009 CES Show this week in Las Vegas, the Blaupunkt New Jersey 600i is being marketed for OEM installation. However, there are no details yet on what automakers will be the first to provide this offering.
The beauty of the Blaupunkt New Jersey 600i is it’s ability to stream any Internet radio station provided by miRoamer as well as access any additional station by entering it’s URL.
It’s the holidays and cool tech products are always top of mind. One of the most exciting mobile gadgets to be released in time for Christmas is the ClarionMiND Mobile Internet Navigation Device. The name of the device sums it up pretty well. Clarion has released a gps navigation unit that also functions as an internet browser and multimedia wiz.
A bright 4.8 inch LCD touchscreen produces a great viewing experience for movies, videos or turn by turn navigation. The device runs on a Linux OS and comes with a built in browser, Real Media Player and widgets for mySpace, YouTube, weather and news. Bluetooth and WiFi provide connectivity and a 4GB SSD module provides storage with a MicroSD slot for more memory.
LoJack may have pioneered the stolen vehicle recovery system years ago, but many entrants are taking that concept and providing greater ease of use and flexibility. One such company is Blackline which is offering a device known as the GPS Snitch. The unit requires no installation, is small enough to be hidden in any vehicle and is easy to transfer between cars.
The Snitch is comprised of a GPS tracker, wireless transmitter, rechargeable battery and motion sensor. Blackline offers customers the option of being able to track online, via SMS or e-mail. There is also an application available for Blackberries that provides a special interface and a “geo-social networking experience.”
The Blackline GPS Snitch offers real-time automatic tracking, with a very low lag time of 20 seconds. It works in the US and Canada and costs $299.99 MSRP with service plans available at $14.99/month.
The new Passport 9500ix from Escort surpasses many of it’s brethren in the radar detection market by leaps and bounds. 360 degree radar and laser detection (across all bands) is in full effect but the Passport 9500ix’s biggest claim to fame is it’s promise of no false alarms. The built in gps unit assists with keeping track of what signals are not real threats. Either automatically, based on a recurrence of 3 passes across the same signal in the same exact location, or by manually locking out the signal, the 9500ix will eventually cancel out all false alarms for areas that are frequently traveled.
Another significant advancement is it’s large safety camera database which lists 1000s of red light and fixed position speed cameras throughout the US. Firmware updates keep the unit current.
Source: Escort Radar