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June 28,2008 (WeekendEdition)

Our recent brush with the all electric Tesla Roadster got us thinking if we were to get something practical (ie: <$100K) for commuting around Boston, what would we get?  Would it be something such as a Vespa? Or perhaps something less well tested, but potentially more forward thinking?

Perhaps something like this carbon fiber Enertia.  The Enertia is light weight (280 lbs) all electric motorcycle with a cruising range of about 45 miles.  Acceleration is a peppy 0-30 mph in under 5 sec.

Even though their PR shots shows it cruising out in the country side, its current range is really sufficient only for city dwellers zipping around town.  The other limitation to the Enertia is it is a single rider bike.  Half the fun of riding one of these is to be able to bring a friend along.  For that, one will have to consider the Vectrix.

The Vectric is quite a bit bigger and heavier (510 lbs) compared to the Enertia, but the Vectric will carry two and still be able to zip around at reasonable speeds.   The range  (35 -55 miles) is about the same as the Enertia, but it may be a lot more practical.  Since the Vectrix Flagship Store is in Rhode Island, we will definitely go and check this bike out in person. 

These electric bikes are definitely a lot more justifiable than the Tesla, but they are easily twice as expensive as the tried and true Vespa.  There are still a lot of open questions regarding the actual cost of ownership, battery life, and service.  Hopefully, we'll get them answered during our visit.  Drop us a note if you have a question in mind.  [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


June 27,2008 (FotoFriday)

We had always wondered how they got this shot of the Porsche zooming into the future.  Some here thought it was Photoshopped, but other thought it was done by zooming during the exposure.  Tricky to do either way.

When we were at Tesla Motors last week, we thought we would take advantage of the opportunity and try to do something similar with the Tesla Roadster.

Any idea how we did it?  If you do, drop us a note with the subject line "It's a Tesla, baby!"  In the body of the email, tell us what we used to create the effect.  The prize is a CD of high rez images from Porsche.  Contest ends at the end of June.  If you need a hint, you have not been reading RainyDayMagazine consistently this month... yes, that was a hint :-)  [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


June 26,2008 (TeslaGalleryThursday)

Here is the promised collection of photos from our visit to the Tesla Motors showroom in LA.  There were three Tesla roadsters on the floor day we visited.  In the collections we tried to select various views of the exterior and interior components.  Note the carbon fiber shots!

The car is light and very stiff due to the extensive use of carbon fiber through out.  The curb weight is under 2700 lbs. Charging is done from a standard AC outlet to a special transformer and cable. 

The compartment housing the 7000 Li-ion battery cells is just behind the trunk.  The batteries are rated for over 100,000 miles.  The carbon fiber trunk has room for the soft top and a bag of golf clubs.  Note the high lip on the side of the car.  Getting in and out will require a little more flexibility than with a regular sports car. 

While this car is probably a lot more practical (if that should even be a point of consideration for a $100K car) in LA than in Boston, we don't care... we want one!  You will too once you get a chance to see one up close and personal.  If you find yourself in L.A., take the time to drop by the Tesla Motors showroom and check it out for yourself. [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


June 25,2008 (WirelessWednesday)

Bluetooth is the wireless technology of choice for short haul device to device communications.  It is found in computers, PDAs, printers, cell phones, and headsets.

One of the leaders in Bluetooth products is an Australian company call BlueAnt.  A few of their products were reviewed here in the past (BlueSonic, SuperTooth2).  BlueAnt has recently released two new products:Supertooth3 handsfree kit and Z9i headset.

The Supertooth 3 handsfree speakerphone has a slew of new features (BT v2.0, voice command, multi-pairing).  The two new features we are most eager to test are "text-to-speech" and "voice command."  We have always found the need to push buttons while driving incredibly distracting.  These new capabilities are welcome additions which will let us keep our hands on the steering wheel.

The BlueAnt Supertooth 3 package comes 2 visor clips, an AC charger, and a car adapter.  The fully charged unit has 15 hrs of talk-time and an amazing 800 hrs of standby power. 

The Z9i is a super light 0.35 oz headset.  It now has dual mics, new noise suppression technology, and can support two phones simultaneously.  The Z9i will automatically answer the phone that rings first.  This is a great feature for those of us who carries a work and a personal phone.   FirstLook of the Supertooth 3 and the Z9i will be at the beginning of July.  How these new BlueAnt gear rate will be coming in a few months. [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


June 24,2008 (TechScamTuesday)

There are a lot of companies with substandard products in the market place.  RainyDayMagazine tend not to waste any time telling reader about them because... it's a waste of time. 

This national ad in various local papers from Universal TechTronics is so misleading that we felt compelled to mention it.  The "deal" is a "FREE" digital coverter box, IF you buy a warranty for $59 + shipping. They are just preying on those that don't know any better.  With the government's $40 coupon, a similar box can be had for about $20.  We know most of you will not fall for this, but our reason for posting this is for you to help spread the warning about this crappy "deal."  Use this permalink if you want to pass the article along. 

We have no information regarding the quality of the Miracle ClearView TV box.  All we can say for sure is anyone who falls for their pitch is getting their pockets "picked." 

For those who may be confused about this whole 2009 "digital TV" conversion thing, we like to point you to Consumer Reports' guide to converter boxes. [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


June 23,2008 (MotorMonday)

Visiting the Tesla showroom was one of the top LA to-do items on our list.  Friday morning was the only gap in our schedule so we headed down and hoped the place was not to busy for us to wander around and get some shots.

Fortunately for us, the showroom was not too crowded.  We pretty much were allowed to shoot undisturbed for almost an hour.  The images are being sorted now and we will have a gallery up soon.

Tom O'Leary, the general manager, was about to take someone out for a test drive when we arrived.  We took the opportunity and grabbed a few shots of the car starting up and pulling away

Everyone says the roadster is completely quiet when running and drives without making a sound.  However, you don't really realize how odd and awesome it really is until you see (and not hear) this in person.  This is the perfect sports car for L.A.

The Tesla Roadster can accelerates from 0-60 in less than 4 seconds.  Top speed of the Tesla is 125 mph.  Its range is about 220 miles and can be fully recharged in about 3.5 hours. 

Tomorrow we will give you a closer look at the interior of the Tesla and talk a bit about the different options available in the 2009 version of this remarkable car.  [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


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