Friday, February 26, 2010

Kiss my ass, Rhonda Smith.

Some of you may know Rhonda Smith... she's the one in the pistachio colored jacket who wept while recalling her 'harrowing experience' behind the wheel of a possessed Lexus.

Considered to be a key witness against Toyota (although her testimony is sketchy at best) it was revealed that shortly after the incident, she sold the car to another family.

Now I can't say for sure, but I'm 99.9999999999999999999999% sure "possessed death trap" didn't appear even ONCE in her for sale ad.

This doesn't sit well with me. I want to know what Ms Smith did immediately following her alleged joyride. Did she go to Toyota (since the car was still under warranty) and explain what happened? Or did she just cover it up and sell it to some other unknowing family until this happened and she realized she could make a buck off her story? That's what I'm thinking.

In any case, assuming her story is true, selling that car without full disclosure seems to be a pretty dishonest thing to do...

The new owners have reported 27,000 trouble free miles, BTW.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Serious bucket drumming right here.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

OMFG, your car is gonna CRASH!!

Okay, the panic generated by this whole Toyota recall thing is getting to be a bit much. Yes, there's a problem with the accelerator module on several Toyota vehicles... here's the thing though; the problem rests entirely on the shoulders of the US manufacturing company CTS. The only vehicles that have the sticky pedal issue are ones that have an accelerator module made by CTS (in the United States). Toyota (and subsidiary) vehicles with the Japan-made module by Denso do not have this problem.

What am I saying here? I'm saying the US doesn't have a fucking clue how to manufacture goods. The US auto industry can't get their shit together to make a car last more than 100k miles (if it can even get to that point without massive repairs) the US auto industry is floundering, nobody can deny that.

However, when you have a situation like this, where the number one Japanese automaker has cars that will go all 'Christine' on your ass, suddenly, the garbage churned out by the big three don't seem as dangerous. Why? After all, wouldn't YOU rather have a car that simply breaks down every 10k miles (or maybe just doesn't start some mornings) or a car that can LITERALLY MURDER YOU BECAUSE OF A STICKY PEDAL? That's what I thought.

See, this is a fantastic time to convince people that Japanese cars are dangerous, buy American! The US auto industry needs a boost, and now it has it. It's a brilliant strategy. Unfortunately, people don't realize that the reason these 'murder machines' have sticky pedals is because they were made by the same people who make the trash coming out of Detroit (or in this case, Elkhart, IN). CTS is making the faulty product, NOT Toyota.

Vehicular politics aside, fact is, Toyota vehicles either made or assembled in the US using the American made CTS gas pedal assembly are using a substandard product. Cars using the superior Denso assembly are fine.

It's time to stop taking advantage of an unfortunate situation to bolster sales of American made cars. They're no better, in fact, who's to say that there aren't red blooded American Fords out there using products by CTS?

My Scion xB was manufactured and assembled in Japan and brought here on a boat. It's a true import. I know several people who have put 200,000+ miles on theirs without anything more than oil changes and new brake pads. That's Toyota quality, not Toyota design with guts made here...

I guess what I'm trying to say is, yes, if you have a car that falls under the scope of the recall, get it fixed, but don't panic. Don't sell your car and buy a Taurus, and most importantly, realize who is really responsible for the manufacture of the faulty units.

SIDE NOTE: My old 1995 Toyota Camry was an "evil Japanese car"... that was manufactured in Kentucky. The 2000 Chevy Impala that my sister drives is a "full-on GM piece of American awesomeness" and it was manufactured in Canada of all places.
Pull your "made in America" head out of your ass and realize that despite this issue, the reliability record of Toyota (and other Japanese automakers) blow the big three out of the water.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My thoughts on the iPad

Okay, okay, menstrual jokes aside, Apple's iPad was supposedly this super revolutionary product that would change the computing world forever. This was supposed to be Steve Jobs' ticket to superstardom, or whatever.

Instead, what we get is a giant iPod Touch... quite literally.
My iPhone has more functionality than this thing... like the ability to take pictures and, y'know, call people.

The first issue is that, rather than loading it with a slimmed down version of OS X, it is instead utilizing the iPhone OS. That OS leave quite a lot to be desired. I've had an iPhone for 3 years and the inability to multitask (save for a handful of Apple branded apps) can be incredibly problematic. To bring that same shortcoming to the 'do everything magic tablet' is inexcusable.

Oh yea, Apple needs to cool it with the fuckin dongles. You need one to do EVERYTHING now. The iPad only has a 30-pin dock connector, no native USB, SD card, etc. If you want to plug ANYTHING into it, you gotta shell out an extra 20 or whatever bucks for the USB dongle.

I get it, Jony Ive is a fuckin design rockstar, but occasionally, form needs to follow function. It seems that functionality of a product is often secondary to the form factor. Look at the newest iPod Shuffle. They can't make it any thinner because it needs to support a 1/8" stereo mini jack (and the day that I need a dongle to plug in headphones is the day that I move into a cave) so the only way they could make it smaller was to ELIMINATE ALL OF THE BUTTONS! How do you control it now? Oh, you use our headphones (which are subpar) or talk to it. I love gadgets and all, but whispering sweet nothings into my iPod's ear is where I draw the line. This trend of making things smaller, but then having to shoehorn a way to actually make it work is a dangerous one. I fear to see what's next.

Apple tried this before, it was called the Newton... that too was a pretty big failure; sadly, I don't foresee this taking off. I guess it's kinda cool, in a way, but think for a minute... is this a product that you NEED in your life? Probably not. The only people who will be buying this are the total Apple whores and old people with disposable income who don't want a computer because they're too scary.

I have more to say, but I fear this is already borderline unreadable (or at the very least, uninteresting) so I'll stop here.

Oh, I almost forgot. Everyone's favorite nerd-punk frontman and fake jingle writer, Parry Gripp also put down his iPad thoughts in a more melodic way... and, let's be honest, way better than mine.