A Novel Idea – Insourcing

August 25, 2005 at 10:16 pm | Posted in Technology | Leave a comment

A New Zealand website has a very good history of the Prius hybrid car. The interesting part is that Toyota started this project in 1993 after being excluded from the Partnership for the Next Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), which was an American effort to produce an 80 mpg sedan. I remember back then that Toyota claimed that they considered themselves an American company since they had invested so much in domestic production and research facilities.

Twelve years later, the PNGV has yielded very little in terms of any consumer benefit while costing taxpayers billions of dollars. In the meantime, Honda and Toyota are the undisputed leaders in hybrid technology and market share. They eventually licensed their patents to other car companies like Ford and Nissan.

I was encouraged by what Ford is trying to do to address their problem of not having equal access to the Japanese technology they are licensing. They came upon a solution that escapes (pardon the pun) 99% of American businessmen — developing products and technology within the United States. In 21st century American business, the standard practice would be to complain to the government and try to get them to apply political pressure.

Corporations should re-invest in this country, our people, and national economic security. It will pay off, as it did after WWII.

Christian Assassination

August 22, 2005 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Rants | 2 Comments

Sounds like the subject of some spam I’ve been getting, but it’s worse than that. Televangelist Pat Robertson is calling for the assassination of a democratically elected head of state.

As far as I know, all Chavez has done is to call us names, hang out with Fidel Castro, and generally make himself look like an idiot. He has managed to keep his job only because his opponents are more corrupt and incompetent. Chavez is simply not at the top of the CIA hit list. The day he gets killed is the day he stops sending us oil.

The world needs Pat Robertson’s Christianity as much as it needs Osama bin Laden’s Islam.

The Church of St. Prius

August 17, 2005 at 7:54 pm | Posted in Fun Outdoors, Humor (G- and R- rated) | Leave a comment

I am the newest member of the Church of St. Prius. The pastor must have been thinking of me, because his sermon was very apt:

I’ve noticed that many hybrid drivers, once the Mother Teresas of the roadways, have adopted driving habits normally associated with BMW drivers.

The fact that I can smoke a Mustang off the starting line with my little Prius is amazing. Of course, that lead only lasts until we get to 15 mph when I suddenly run out of torque 😦

Another Windows Worm

August 17, 2005 at 6:50 pm | Posted in Rants, Technology | Leave a comment

The Zotob/IRC worm hit my workplace hard – half of our users were on Win2K systems, and hackers are probably trying to find ways to do the same to WinXP machines. Fortunately for me, my computer was refreshed to XP last April, but network connectivity was impacted and thus, our Mac and Unix boxes were affected; at least they didn’t reboot constantly.

Once companies and their fascist IT departments have started collectively hitting their heads against the brick wall of Windows insecurity, even considering safer and cheaper alternatives becomes impossible. They deserve every hit to their workers’ productivity and revenue.

50.4 MPG

August 14, 2005 at 7:43 pm | Posted in Fun Outdoors | Leave a comment

That was the mileage I got from my first tankful of gas of my new Prius. Unfortunately, the high demand in California meant that I could not get more than $300 off list, but the time savings this year might make up for that.

I’ve had the car for a little over a week and it’s really fun to drive, although the interactive LCD display can be distracting at first. In addition to getting great mileage, it is low-emissions, has many high-tech features, more storage space than I can use, and should be more reliable than my previous “ultimate driving machine”. In addition, my insurance is less and I get to apply for solo HOV privileges.

The many discussion groups and web sites were very helpful in helping me get the best pricing, knowledge, and driving tips. I’ll never be a hypermiler, but it’s good to know that this car has the ability to become better with time. I’m also glad that Toyota had the guts and commitment to bring this car to market, because I’m sure that GM or Ford would have screwed this up if they had tried it first.

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