Rental Cadillac DTS

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 
Wtf? Another Caddy? They drive OK, but what is up with the mid-90s vintage entertainment system? Analog in only? American cars always have really crappy music navigation interfaces, but even low-end cars with the janky microsoft sync interface at least can read off a 2GB FAT USB stick (no larger).

If you’re trying to compete with Mercedes an Infinity, you have to be able to read at least a FAT32 file system if not an ipod and usefully navigate folders and playlists.

Posted at 11:07:28 GMT-0700

Category: Negativephotorental carsreviews

Facebook Open Graph Fun

Thursday, April 22, 2010 

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More detailed instructions about how to access facebook’s new Open Graph (below). Open Graph is an interesting OAuth based mechanism by which facebook is opening their database to “select” third parties and allowing those parties to read FB cookies and automatically connect to FB and read “engagement enhancing” information about the user such as their social graph, their profile, their news feed, the groups they belong to, their pictures (including all that they’ve been tagged in): just about everything FB knows about them. The details are at this URL.

It is not 100% clear to me yet whether giving the third party access to the facebook cookies, but if the techcrunch article is correct, then third parties can read FB cookies, which are all under the domain and all “send for: Any type of connection” including the “lxe” cookie which is the user’s sign-in email address.

To experiment with Open Graph, first log in to facebook… Read more…

Posted at 14:45:33 GMT-0700

Category: Negativereviewstechnologyvanity sites

Rental Lincoln Navigator

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 

Hertz gave me ANOTHER black Lincoln Navigator (this is different than last week’s) to try to drive through LA’s traumatic rainstorms in (thunder! OMG!). Nothing like the efficiency of driving a car that seats 7 for a commute. Fortunately I don’t have to drive far so the total environmental impact is at least minimized and largely offset by the hilarity value.Navigator.jpg

The car has power every crazy thing. Even the back seats fold down with a button push, necessary since it has become standard to have a power opening and closing trunk so you don’t strain your dainty little self as you drive around in your ginormous faux-tough SUV.

A funny touch is the in-mirror back up camera. Nice that it is full color, but the screen is small enough that you’d never see a puppy. On the other hand, the back window is so far away and so shrouded in black leather that the little color view is the best you’ve got. Puppies are free.


It is always fun to try to figure out the electronic entertainment systems in one of these things. The test is “can you get it working between LAX and Santa Monica without reading the manual.” Mercedes, yes. Lincoln no.


In the end I did get it reading off a USB stick (and the ipod, though the Microsoft SYNC UI for that is unusable. Odd that M$ is advertising SYNC in magazines as brandable feature for a new car when it sucks so bad: I’d avoid a car with M$ inside myself).

Once it was working, the only appropriate choice was Gangstagrass. Thanks @satiredun!


Posted at 17:09:17 GMT-0700

Category: Negativephotorental carsreviews

Oh Hertz!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 

Another town car? I very much appreciate the upgrade, but my age is in my profile and although I’m getting old, this sort of thing is still off by at least 3 decades.

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Posted at 10:16:32 GMT-0700

Category: Negativephotorental carsreviews

Combinations Coffee at TXL

Thursday, December 31, 2009 

As airport coffee makers go, this one is mediocre. The milk handling is excellent and it produced light and even froth, but the coffee flavor is weak.

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Posted at 00:20:43 GMT-0700

Category: Negativephotoplanesreviewstravel

Rental Towncar

Friday, December 4, 2009 

Alas, nobody to chauffeur around. But nothing like driving around in a giant land barge to make you think about global warming: ‘scuse my effluents!

Kind of a comfy car in a rolling barcalounger way. Room for 6. The power open and close trunk firmly inserts “lazy” between “quintessential” and “american”

It is quiet and the stereo is pretty good. The dash is a giant slab of plastic, but this isn’t really a driver’s car.

The engine is surprisingly effective given the mass of the vehicle and the queasy squishy suspension.

Posted at 17:39:17 GMT-0700

Category: Negativephotorental carsreviews

1 Hz

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 

Next Hertz rental: Yaris. Good thing there aren’t any hills in ontario.

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Posted at 05:34:42 GMT-0700

Category: Negativephotorental carsreviews

Cadillac Escalade

Thursday, September 24, 2009 

It is nice Hz upgrades my rental, but this is just stupid.

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Posted at 12:32:36 GMT-0700

Category: Negativephotorental carsreviews

Ford Escape

Monday, June 22, 2009 

After the while OJ thing tainted Ford with the low speed Bronco chase, they dropped the Bronco from their line and replaced it with something to help shed the whole fleeing fugitive image: the Escape.

Rumor has it there will be an Arrested Development movie!

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It’s a pretty mediocre SUV. Squishy, soft, fairly comfortable. It’s a little loud inside. These small SUV’s seem to combine the disadvantages of a truck (noisy, gas consumptive, big, slow) with the disadvantages of a car (fragile, not off-road worthy). This one was even two wheel drive only, what’s the point of that?

Posted at 05:47:07 GMT-0700

Category: Negativephotorental carsreviews

Achelo Syrah

Friday, May 29, 2009 

Excellent, rich, full of flavor and fruit.

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Posted at 10:37:03 GMT-0700

Category: Negativereviewstravel