Captain Snarky

Come and get yer snark on with the captain...

My Photo

What does snarky mean anyway?

31 March 2006

From the 'OMG! The Internet is Cool!' Department

This has renewed my faith in teh interweb. GM has made it possible to create your own Tahoe ad as part of a contest in league with The Apprentice. I don't think they saw this coming. Now they're getting a lesson in viral marketing they won't soon forget. I hope this gets TV coverage before it's over. Check these out before they're pulled. Enjoy.

[f**k you - nsfw]


[enviro/politico 1]
[enviro/politico 2]
[enviro/politico 3]
[enviro/politico 4]

From The Grist Mill by way of the mighty MetaFilter.

03 March 2006

The car of the future?

It could be. Meet the Loremo...

It's just a prototype for now, but it's causing a lot of buzz with its public debut at the Geneva Car Show. It's exciting, at least for someone like me who would rather have simpler and less expensive than having to choose from increasingly complex, feature-ridden, and expensive vehicles that have prehistoric MPG ratings. Here's an excerpt from the excellent Times Online article on this ingenious, ambitious vehicle:

To keep the Loremo light he stripped its interior of clutter and lined the car’s steel girders with a lightweight synthetic fabric. The car’s sleek exterior is both handsome and aerodynamic, with a drag co-efficient of 0.2, compared with the 0.3 or 0.4 of most autos. And it’s a myth, says Tobias, that lighter cars are more vulnerable in an accident: just watch any Formula 1 racer emerge unscathed from a pile-up.

“The problem is that marketing dictates how cars are built,” says Tobias. “These days cars are designed first, and then they try to make them aerodynamic. We wanted to build a car without these sorts of compromises, which perfectly fulfils several specific aims. Because we are a small company we don’t have a hundred people coming up with little changes. As a team we’ve argued about all sorts of details but it’s constructive."

Tobias thinks that car owners are ready to get over their own prejudices. “Seven or eight years ago there were no SUVs. Today every mother is told that she can’t get the kids to school unless she drives a tractor. And yet 80 per cent of SUVs are single occupancy. We wanted to get back to the idea of driving as a technical experience, as a labour of love.”

But if all this is such a good idea why aren’t the big manufacturers on to it? Actually, says Uli, he touted the idea around in 1999 when oil still cost $9 a barrel. “They said to me, ‘This is a great idea, but who’s interested when petrol’s so cheap.’ Then the oil crisis happened.” Last September, petrol prices in the UK reached a record high, following instability in the Middle East and a severe hurricane season in the US.