Foglio's Field Notes

Leif Utne's random rants, musings and meditations

Archive for the ‘tech’ Category

Lost Votes

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Jason Osgood, Washington State’s Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, has created a clever spoof of Apple’s Mac v. PC commercials, highlighting the problems with electronic touch-screen voting machines. (Via The Brad Blog)

Written by leifutne

September 28, 2008 at 10:34 pm

Audio Moblogging for My Car-Free Friend Kurt

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On Thursday, I spent a couple hours coaching my friend Kurt Hoelting, a newbie to the blogosphere, on blogging techniques and particularly on podcasting and vlogging. His blog, Inside Passages, is a chronicle of the year-long commitment he has made to avoid the internal combustion engine as much as possible.

The audio player below was posted here automatically via my Hipcast account by calling a number from my cell phone, entering my account’s PIN, and following the instructions. The sound quality is pretty low, but the ease of posting audio content remotely that the system allows is really slick. 

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Written by leifutne

February 10, 2008 at 12:14 am

Outta my Segway!

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Faster than a strolling crack dealer! More maneuverable than a mountain bike! It’s cops on … Segway scooters?!

Just when I thought life couldn’t get any stranger, I was walking down Hennepin Avenue last Wednesday and saw this:

Minneapolis Segway cops

According to the officer facing the camera, the scooters can do about 12 mph–faster than most people can run, at least for sustained periods.

A block down the road, I saw these guys using boring old human-powered transport.

Minneapolis mountain bike cops

In a game of chicken, who do you think would win?

Written by leifutne

June 21, 2006 at 6:05 am

“World-changing” is now a marketing term

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My friends over at will get a kick out of this. The inside front cover of the July/August issue of Sierra features a two-page ad for Honda’s Civic Hybrid. Under the banner “Environmentology” (not quite sure what that means, but it sounds nice) artistically rendered in images of plants, the company rightly touts its 32-year history as a fuel-efficiency innovator.

Civic Hybrid ad

Here’s the passage that caught my eye:

Civic Hybrid ad (detail)

In 1974, Honda introduced the ingeniously simple Civic CVCC. World-changing (sic) for its fuel efficiency and low emissions, the CVCC demonstrated our spirited commitment to environmentally responsible technology…

“World-changing”? Maybe. While Honda has been a leader in green car technology for a long time, it’s important to note that average fuel economy across the industry, even for Hondas, is unsustainably low. Appopriation and imitation are of course the sincerest forms of flattery. Kudos should go at the very least to Alex and Jamais at WC for changing the lexicon. It’s nice to see Madison Avenue’s taking notice.

Written by leifutne

June 20, 2006 at 8:58 pm