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This is getting good. Remember that prank in Austin where a road sign warned drivers about upcoming zombies? That joke has inspired a copycat in Illinois. KSDK has reported:

"Someone played a practical joke this morning and warned Illinois drivers about zombies. Joe Gasaway with the Illinois Department of Transportation said someone altered the IDOT message boards on southbound I-255 at Highway 162 to say 'daily lane closers, due to zombies' this morning."

I hope it gets to the point where this is a weekly occurence. Ah, the dream....

Any bets on where the zombies will strike next? Now please excuse me -- I have to head to the 280 for a few hours.

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Tags: Cars, Tech

Electronic Arts announced plans today to reinvent the Need for Speed series. EA is launching three separate Need for Speed games: Core, casual and "Play 4 Free."

Need for Speed: Shift is EA's core take on the franchise. It's abandoning most of the "urban" vibe of the past few games in favor of a realistic simulation of both cars and drivers! According to EA, Shift is "Designed to deliver a true driver’s experience that reflects contemporary motorsports, Need for Speed SHIFT is built by racers for racers." It comes out this fall for the PC, PSP, PS3 and 360.

Need for Speed: Nitro is an arcade racing game that will feature vibrant and eye-catching visuals. EA says, "Gamers can build up their boost as they drift and drag behind their opponents and use it strategically to change the course of the race, but watch out for the cops! It's a Wii and DS game, coming this fall.

Need for Speed: World Online is the 'Play 4 Free'  MMO to be released to Asia first. It will let players pick and mod licensed vehicles and take on the rest of the world in rubber burning races. Sounds pretty intriguing.

So which one do you want to play most? And what do you think are the chances of these game revitalizing the franchise?

Do you have a need for speed? Do you insist on living your life fast and furiously? Or, perhaps, you drive a crazy taxi? 

Well! Then you should check out this X-Play exclusive trailer for the new X-box 360 game Race Pro.

Slated for release on February 17th, this racing sim promises "racing realism" and boasts the "widest variety of ultra realistic cars." Plus, it has a "Mini Cooper Challenge" for people who like short cars and British things.

What do you think? Are you excited for this ultra realistic racing experience? 

 

World Premiere Exclusive: Race Pro Trailer »


 

Last week, an electronic road sign in Austin, Texas was hacked to warn drivers of zombies. The prank, which I'm going to chalk up to the ingenuity of college kids, was pretty awesome. It's also nice to see that state officials can take a joke. In an interview with Fox News, ChrisLippincott, director of media relations for the Texas Department of Transportation, said:

"It was clever, kind of cute, but not what it was intended for. Those signs are deployed for a reason -- to improve traffic conditions, let folks know there's a road closure. It's sort of amusing, but not at all helpful."


Personally, I blame the hacker-zombie connection on games like Resident Evil and Left 4 Dead.

If you could hack into a local road sign, what message would you leave?

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Tags: Cars, Tech

GNRL ZOD

TylerColfax
26 Comments

Posted January 23, 2009 - By TylerColfax

Living in Los Angeles has its perks, most of them superficial and insignificant. For instance, the time I saw David Hasselhoff walking through a lobby was a pretty big rush. It didn't quite compare to seeing The Nature Boy, Ric Flair, with his years of compacted impact injuries from wrestling and a broken back laboring through a cubicle farm mumbling to personal assistants. Seeing someone famous has an initial shine that eventually dulls to a feeling of unexpected hollowness. I guess it's from a built-up expectation that comes crashing back to reality once the larger-than-life figure is proven to just be normal size, although the Hoff was taller than I expected.

Because of this, I was very excited to see a spray-painted Trans-Am from the late 70s with a hoodscoop and a beat up vanity plate labeled "GNRL ZOD" the other night in my neighborhood. Seeing the car itself brought back a lot of childhood memories, but once I saw the license plate, I knew I had to wait around to meet the guy who would dare to be so awesome. I snapped a couple pictures and sat on a bench.

Much like a cross-country booty call that sounds great at first, but soon turns into a personal mind game given the hours of time it takes to travel and think, I began to regret waiting to meet this person as time wore on. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, what the hell was I doing? I had important Facebook status updates to read at home.

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Tags: Cars, Movies
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Come on now, a new year, a new President... and you've seen how Barack rolls. Get with the "next-gen" of gears & gadgets and deck out your ol' reliable set of wheels with the latest in car gear. We scour the automotive tech floor at CES 2009 for the best in car tech including:

  • a rear-mounted camera,
  • a heat-vision camera,
  • PS2 mobile entertainment system,
  • FLOW TV system
  • and the sickest-looking Rock Band 2-mobile.

Latest in Geek Car Technology 

CES 09: Best Car Technology »


 

Tags: Cars, CES, Tech, Videos

The downloadable version of arcade-favorite racing game Outrun, Outrun Online Arcade,  is not going to be available on the PlayStation 3 in North America. In Europe, however, you will be able to play it on both the 360 and the PS3. Sega U.K. did not comment on the reason for the decision.

Along with massively spiffed up visuals, Outrun Online Arcade will feature an online mode with up to six players and all the racing fun you remember.

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The Toyota Prius has broken an important gas-mileage barrier: The 2010 model of the Japanese hybrid gets a combined 50 miles per gallon, as opposed to this year's model which gets (still-impressive) 46 MPG. The new Prius debuted yesterday at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. It features a 1.8 liter, 160 horsepower engine and a body that is three to four inches longer and about an inch wider than the previous model. Wind resistance has been cut and a stabilizing tail fin has been added.

I'm so on the fence about the Prius. Riding in the nearly silent, high-tech vehicle is similar to living in a sci-fi movie, and I hate pumping gas. On the other hand, there's an annoying earthy-crunchy, self-righteousness that comes along with driving a Prius that I don't want to be part of. Hey, Prius driver, you're not single-handedly saving the world with your expensive car!

What about you, are you pro-Prius or anti-Prius?

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Tags: Cars

Using heat to change solid biomass -- like trash -- into "natural-gas like" flammable fuel is called gasification. And through gasification, we can take anything that's solid, dry and organic and transform it into fuel.

That's the operative word here: dry.

So don't even think about taking your unused coffee or compost to run your car. This isn't Mr. Fusion, you don't have a DeLorean, and you're not Doc Brown. Think solids that contain the least amount of H20.

ALL Power Labs has something called the Gasifier Experimenters Kit (GEK) to help you get started in the biomass thermal conversion arts and sciences. The embedded video shows how the kit can be used on a Honda to make it garbage powered. Now I just need to find a company that offers a flux capacitor....

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Tags: Cars, Tech

Toyota Motor Corp. -- maker of the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, the Prius -- is quietly developing a car that will run completely on solar energy.

Solar cells from the car will provide some of the power which can be recharged from solar panels on home rooftops.

It appears the Japanese automaker isn't immune to the global economic blight as Toyota reported its first operating loss in 70 years. It's doing exceptionally bad in major U.S. markets, and the enormous rise of the yen value doesn't help either.

As a leader in green technology, Toyota already uses solar panels in to generate electricity at its Central Japan plant.

These panels equal 60 tennis courts in size and generate enough energy to power 500 homes. Which is great for emissions as it reduces 740 tons of the nasty carbon dioxide.

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Tags: Cars, Tech




Dateline: Montgomery County, Maryland

A group of troubled teens are perpetrating the high-stakes license plate system to bamboozle speed cameras and frame innocent drivers.

Yes, the Montgomery County Sentinel is reporting a trend amongst Montgomery County high school students where they tape a fake license plate, printed on glossy paper and using fonts downloaded off the web, over their real license plate, to set off cameras used to catch speeding drivers. Days later, a $40 citation appears in the mail for whomever the fake plates are actually registered to.

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Early next year, Burnout Paradise (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) will be offering up a collection of new cars to race in the form of the Legendary Cars Pack, courtesy of Criterion Games. Legendary Cars Pack will include such sweet rides as the Cavalry Bootlegger, Manhattan Spirit and the GT Nighthawk. But it’s the hover-tastic, Doc Brown-esque, Back To the Future-style Jansen 88 Special that me most excited. Mmmmmm….. Flux Capacitor…

See above footage and discuss amongst yourselves, oh mighty warriors of the raceway…

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With sheer determination and without an ounce of gasoline, Swiss eco voyager, Louis Palmer has just finished quite a feat.

In a solar powered vehicle, Palmer set off on a 17 month world tour to share his knowledge about the dangers of global warming, and to show the world that alternatives are out there to fight it.

Palmer traveled in his car for 17 months. It's a three-wheeler that pulls a solar array that can go up to 55 mph, and travels to 300km on a single charge.

How appropriate that his adventure came to an end at the UN climate change talks in Poznan, Poland.

Palmer wants to embark on a six vehicle trip around the world in 80 days implementing hydro, geothermal and wind energy. Let's hope he's considered that there's water to be crossed in trekking the world.

This is what future dreams are made of!

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Tags: Cars, Tech

'Gran Turismo PSP' Is Still Coming

kijibe
11 Comments

Posted November 28, 2008 - By kijibe

All good things come to those who wait.

Head of Polyphony Digital, Kazunori Yamaguchi, promises that Gran Turismo PSP “is moving forward. It hasn’t been knocked off the plans: it’s there.”

This is long four years after Sony teased us with GT PSP, announcing back then at their E3 Sony press conference that we were going to do some open wheeled auto racing with our thumbs.  

Since then, the game has been repeatedly delayed with its completion pushed back.  Fans have not seen any demos, no trailers, no screenshots, heck, not even a paid-for preview.

Mr. Yamaguchi’s clipped answer of “it’s there,” is certainly better than “it’s crashed.”

So we continue to wait..

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At a base price starting at just under $200K, you can understand why high-end car makers like Ferrari would be loath to allow anybody to gratuitously crash and damage one of their cars...

Kazunori Yamauchi, CEO of Polyphony Digital, as well as creator and producer of the Gran Turismo series, is in talks with car makers, like Ferrari, to subject its cars to crash damage in their game.

System 3 developer at Ferrari Challenge said earlier this year that "convincing Ferrari to put damage on the cars was a 'big challenge.'"

Games are virtual reality, and ones like Forza 2 feature licensed car damage on a colossal scale. Everybody knows it's not real.

Anyone who has deep pockets to burn on a luxury vehicle, probably also has the fortitude to not be put off by seeing a busted Ferrari playing Gran Turismo.

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