Tuning Humor: The BMW A3…

This fella has serious issues to solve, and we mean really, really serious issues. Kitsch plastic add-ons aside, why the hell would you stick a reversed BMW kidney-grille on a first-gen Audi A3 hatch? Seriously now, why? Can’t even begin to start imagining what his next project will look like. -Thanks for the pic Mike!

Intel Gets the Lead Out

Intel has recently announced
that their newest chips (and all future chips) are going to be lead-free.
And this is not 99.99% (like we see for batteries and some other
applications for various materials) but 100% lead free. 

Intel on Tuesday said its future microprocessors will be lead
free, a move that coincides with the tech industry trend toward more
environmentally friendly products. The chipmaker said its "green"
processors would start with its next generation Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad,
and Xeon products. Production of the 45-nanometer processors is set to
begin the second half of this year.

There are a number of unpleasant chemicals inside the case of the average
PC. But things are starting to get better. European RoHS
standards (which we’ve mentioned before) require reductions
or elimination of many of these chemicals. 

Unforunately, lead is not the most egregious of these chemicals, and the CPU
chip is not the greatest source of contamination inside a PC case.
Brominated fire retardants among other chemicals inside the case are
more worrying to us than lead is. We’re generally more excited about
announcements of new processors with lower energy demands,
because those have a bigger impact than the relatively tiny amount of some
elements in the chips. But it’s good to see manufacturers continuing with
these incremental steps, as well as the bigger ones.

Using Aluminum to Create Hydrogen

Using hydrogen as a vehicle fuel is one of the possible solutions being
touted as a replacement for oil-based fuels. Hydrogen fueled vehicles
would be preferable because their emissions are merely water vapor, rather
than CO2. But carrying around hydrogen in fuel tanks makes people
twitchy. And there is no national infrastructure to distribute hydrogen
the way we currently distribute gasoline.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a process that
produces hydrogen gas when water comes in contact with special
pellets made of aluminum and gallium. Normally, aluminum quickly forms a
skin on its surface which inhibits this process from taking place (which is why aluminum cans don’t dissolve into clouds of hydrogen gas when filled with liquid). But the gallium
prevents the skin from forming, and allows the aluminum to remain

Of course, refining aluminum in the first place is an incredibly energy
intensive process, so the production of these gallium-aluminum pellets
won’t be cheap. But the ability to produce hydrogen as it is needed and
in a transportable form is an interesting prospect. Those of you who are patiently waiting for the hydrogen economy now have a little bit less to wait for.

Via Physorg

2008 Peugeot 207 CC Roland Garros

Coinciding with the Roland-Garros tennis tournament, Peugeot presented yet another special version of one its models bearing the name of the famous French Open. Based on the 207 CC 1.6 (120HP), the Roland-Garros is offered exclusively in a bright yellow colour reminiscent of a tennis ball (…). Colour aside, the 207 CC Roland-Garros features special badges and a longer standard equipment list.

Belgian Bus Company Suggests We Park Our Cars On Their Buses Or In A… Canal!

Either way, make your life easier and take a bus next time you visit the city. Or at least that’s what Belgian bus company De Lijn is saying in its playful campaign in an attempt to persuade people to use public transport instead of cars. De Lijn’s first campaign includes a bus with an MG parked on its rooftop suggesting that they’ll let people park their cars on one of their busses if they

VW Replacing 1.6 FSI Engine With 122Hp 1.4 TSI, Available With New 7Speed DSG

One of VW’s most, if not the most, popular petrol engines in its European range, the 115Hp 1.6-liter FSI, is soon to be replaced by the company’s new 122Hp 1.4-litre TSI. Based on the 1.4-litre TSI that combines a supercharger and a turbocharger (available in 140Hp and 170Hp guises), the new unit uses just a turbocharger. The new engine is planned to be fitted to the Golf, Golf Plus, Golf Estate,

2008 Audi RS6 Scooped?

These pictures were shot by an Audi fan in a parking lot somewhere in Spain and from the looks of it, we could be looking at the upcoming RS6. Just to set things straight, we have no official or unofficial confirmation that Audi’s readying a top-notch A6, only rumours and various spy pics like these. The differences we spotted between the current S6 and the RS6 pictured here include wider flares,

Kia Picanto Facelift: Official Details & Images Released

Kia came out with an official release and more images of its updated Picanto mini that’ll premiere at the Barcelona Auto Show on June 7, 2007, In a nutshell, the 2008 Picanto received a new front end, different rear light clusters and an updated interior inspired from the Cee’d. There are no changes in the engine range. The Koreans believe that the facelift will help boost annual oversees sales

Miramar Audi Gets an “A” In Customer Service

I’ve been a subscriber to the Miramar Volkswagen/Audi newsletter for the past year, so I keep up with the latest happenings over at this dealership here in San Diego. I do have to commend them for the service that they’ve given me so far. Here are a couple examples:

  • I requested a brochure for the Audi A8 and a few days later I got a follow-up email and phone call to make sure I received the brochure ok and if I had any questions. It’s a small gesture, but I always preach over at my customer service blog that follow-up is a key element in the customer experience.
  • They’ve just started offering Wi-Fi inside the dealership, so while you’re waiting for your car to be serviced, you can still do work or just kill time…

So far, Miramar Audi is on my good side! If you’re a customer and have had some experience with this dealership, leave a comment!

The Corona: Environmentally Conscious Solar Light

It’s amazing the difference good design can make. Yeah, those stupid little lawn lights we see all around nowadays are solar powered. But they’re not very attractive or versatile.

Which is why we love The Corona. The Corona is very attractive and can do pretty much anything. They can be staked into a lawn, hung from a wall or placed on a table. They’re water-proof, use high-efficiency LEDs and look as if they belong in the natural environment.

The materials, design, and idea of the Corona are all completely conscious of the environment. And that environmental consciousness has resulted in a stunningly attractive design. Solar lighting looks to be ready for the big leagues. Who could argue against these gorgeous little things.

Via NextLust

Motorola’s Solar / Wind Powered Cell Phone Network

The developing world is leapfrogging us again! First they skipped the land-line step, opting for inexpensive and less infrastructure-dependent mobile phones, now it looks like they’re eschewing cables completely and opting for distributed sources of electricity.

Motorola has created a pilot project in Nambia that will power cell towers using solar and wind energy. This, the first project of it’s kind, could be the start of a system that would bring global communications to small and rural communities.

This independence from the electric grid could become a significant empowering force for rural communities across the world. While we don’t have technical details on the project (kilowatts generated, battery backup systems, etc,) we have confidence in Motorola’s ability to create this kind of distributed power and communications network. The question is, can they make it financially viable.

Via TreeHugger

120 mpg Motorbike: Made in Kenya

This $100 Kenyan bike engine quickly converts any bicycle to a 100 mpg motorbike. It might not be the most efficient engine, or the cleanest. But as the world develops, simple solutions like these are necessary to make the world a better place for people, without upsetting the balance of the environment.

Via Afrigadget