After speaking with an OnStar rep, we can now undoubtedly tell you that Twitter is most definitely coming to GM’s OnStar service. I was actually featured in a piece here on Seattle’s KING 5 News, where I talked a bit about the features that OnStar is saying will be available. On the flip-side, they also talk to a Washington State Patrol officer, who says that even though this would be a hands-free activity, it is just one more thing that is taking your mind off of driving.
OnStar didn’t give us a timeframe for when the Twitter integration would launch, but hey, at least now you know that our original Twitter on OnStar article wasn’t an April Fools joke…although, Trooper Brandon Lee’s bow tie very well might be.
As always, you can follow Gear Live on Twitter.
In this time of trying to save some bucks, one new site will help you do that when it comes to transportation. Carsforagrand.com has collected hundreds of those that are being sold for less than $1,000.00. Choices include American made and foreign, older, crashed and parts cars and the listings are updated daily. Search by brand or zip code to find one in your area or subscribe to their newsletter. We tracked a couple of the deals and traced them to eBay, but at least the legwork is done.
Read More | Carsforagrand
Mini Financial Services has launched a new iPhone and iPod touch game dubbed MINI Liquid Assets. This is based on the retro water-filled handheld games where you pushed a button to get one object to hit another. Based on an exhibit originally designed for dealers, you shoot nickels into the Mini-Es to keep more assets while in the liquid. (We are guessing that they paid big bucks to develop the clever play on words.) The download is free at the iTunes App Store, but as this is also a commercial, the main menu has a link to your nearest BMW Mini dealer.
Read More | MINI Liquid Assets
Rev it up for the origin of Lightning McQueen! Pixar’s CARS was such a huge hit for the studio that it’s spawned a sequel, due in 2012. If you and your kids don’t want to wait that long, BOOM! Studios has something to satisfy fans of the Dinoco 400 until then. In conjunction with Disney Worldwide Publishing, BOOM! is launching a brand new licensed CARS comic book. Written by Alan J. Porter and illustrated by Albert Carreres, the first issue of CARS: THE ROOKIE will debut in March 2009. In the debut issue, CARS Star Lightning McQueen gets interviewed by Darrel Cartrip and reveals his less-than-humble origins as “Bulldozer” McQueen, “a local short track racer who dreams of the big time.” If you’re looking for something your kids can hook into, this is the comic to seek out. You can order it from your local comic book store (the BOOM! folks have a handy order form you can hand to your retailer), and you can also order it from the BOOM! website.
BOOM! is also releasing THE INCREDIBLES: FAMILY MATTERS #1 (by Mark Waid and Marcio Takara) and THE MUPPET SHOW #1 (by Roger Langridge) in March as well. Don’t let this opportunity slip by to get kids into reading comics.
Buckypaper may look like regular carbon paper, but is in actual fact Florida State University’s Ben Wang’s material that is 10 times lighter but up to 500 times stronger than steel when stacked and pressed. It has the capability of conducting electricity and dispensing heat. The material is made from tube-shaped carbon molecules 50,000x thinner than a human’s hair. Applications would include energy-efficient aircraft and cars, and more powerful computers. At this point buckypaper, which came out of the discovery of the buckyball (a form of pure carbon,) is only made at half of its strength and is very expensive to produce, FSU is planning to developing it commercially in the next 12 months, according to Wang.
Read More | CNN
How often do you spring for a fast food meal on the road and end up with a burger and fries that are room temperature at best? Now you can cook your own with maplin’s in-car Microwave. Plug into your 12V socket and program the LED touchscreen to heat your sandwich or SpaghettiOs in quick time. Built of steel with a heavy duty handle, it will even stand up to the kidlets’ Lunchables. Find it at a price of £79.97 (~$147.00.)
Read More | maplin
AM General, the company that makes the Hummer H2 for GM, is hoping to make wheelchair-accessible vehicles by 2010. The car will be made for the U.S. and Canada and will include an automatic ramp that will be able to handle wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobile devices. They say they already have reservations for 3,500 units. Since GM has mentioned that other parties might be interested in its Hummer brand, it will be interesting to see if this will be another carrot or a last ditch effort by the company to keep those gas-hogs on the road.
Read More | Detroit News
It won’t be long before you can get WiFi in your car or truck. The “uconnect” system will be available in most 2009 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep automobiles. The wireless technology is a dealer-installed extra and operates over cell phone lines. Users will be able to utilize laptops, cell phones, and MP3 players with an onboard control, even when moving. It also features GPS, a 30GB hard drive, and an option for satellite TV and radio. While there is a monthly fee involved, there is not yet a specific amount announced.
Read More | MSNBC
We were happy to find out that the new Smart Car did well during its recent crash tests. The 8 foot car received the highest rating in both front-end and side impact testing. It received the second highest rating for rear crashes. Adrian Lund, president of the IIHS that conducted the test, said that a small car may be safer in congested urban areas, where crashes occur less often.
“All things being equal in safety, bigger and heavier is always better. But among the smallest cars, the engineers of the Smart did their homework and designed a high level of safety into a very small package,” Lund said. Looking at the results, it’s even a smaller package now.
Read More | CNN
Imagine not having to deal with the noise and hassle of replacing windshield wipers. This is exactly what Italian Car Designer Leonardo Fioravanti has done with his prototype Hindra. The windshield not only filters out UV rays, it repels water. “Nano-dust” forces dirt to the glass edges activated by sensors. Electricity is used to run the entire mechanism. The process is completed by drag which allows freer flowing air over the windshield. The Hindra and its technology will be on display next month at the Geneva Motor Show.