Chevy Volt

I’m on this unofficial waiting list for the Volt… sadly I clock in at number 28,454. Not encouraging, however, usually fewer than 1 in 3 people who sign up for new vehicle wait lists actually buy one so maybe there is hope.

A little more than a year later, there are almost 34,000 hand raisers in 50 states and 56 countries. While the list is unofficial and doesn’t mean that any of these hand raisers are in line ahead of you to purchase a Volt, the site claims that GM is aware of the list and considering making it official in some capacity.

[From Unofficial Volt Wait List surpasses 30,000 hand raisers – Autoblog]

I might have to step up and get a 638 hp Corvette ZR1 to comfort myself while I wait for a plug in Volt…

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More PETA Material

I can’t even make stuff up this good, seriously PETA’s PR is the gift that keeps on giving… PETA wants to put billboards up on the border fence warning illegals that they are risking their health by entering the U.S. I say that if PETA is willing to pay for billboards in the desert, take their money.

“We think that Mexicans and other immigrants should be warned if they cross into the U.S. they are putting their health at risk by leaving behind a healthier, staple diet of corn tortillas, beans, rice, fruits and vegetables,” said Lindsay Rajt, assistant manager of PETA’s vegan campaigns.

[From PETA wants to put vegan ads on border fence | Pets Houston | – Houston Chronicle]

Apparently Lindsay Rajt hasn’t been to Mexico… fish tacos deep fried in lard and laid on a tortilla slathered in mayonnaise is not exactly a picture of health. Carnitas… mmmm carnnnnittasssss.

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Food at the Olympics

You really have to take a look at this PDF featuring images of street food at the Olympics venues. Much of it isn’t that strange, and I’d be willing to try everything except the dog dishes and the goat lungs. I’ve had snake (while in Shenzhen where they didn’t even skin it) and don’t let anyone fool you, it does not taste anything like chicken.

Fast Food at the Olympics

I was impressed by how sanitary the vendor setups look, everything is clean and organized… which is a radical departure from my previous experiences with Chinese street food. I never had a problem with it but I’m blessed with a cast iron lined stomach.

It would be kinda funny if these dishes were just for foreigners while the locals subsist on cheeseburgers and fries laughing themselves silly.

Car Internet

I can see something like this being a big draw for families, just like in vehicle entertainment systems (DVDs and games) have proven to be. However, for $600 plus another $30 a month it is pretty spendy, for a computer based EVDO card you would pay less than $100 plus $60 a month for Verizon’s service, or put another way, almost 2 years of service before the Chrysler system becomes more economical.

However, one big plus is that the Uconnect service is converting EVDO to wifi, which means that wifi equipped portable devices, like iPhones and PSPs, will benefit from the connection.

This is a big opportunity for aftermarket suppliers given that there is nothing that exceptional about the integration of these systems into the vehicle’s onboard bus, basically they take a power connection, much like how aftermarket satellite radios are installed. The integration of onboard electronics to the network appears to be exceptionally limited with no vehicle functions yet taking advantage of the network.

It’s clear that the performance era for mass market automobiles is sidelined while technology solutions move to the forefront to power next generation clean tech innovations, many not exotic at all like variable displacement engines, and passenger compartment conveniences.

Chrysler’s Uconnect Web creates an EV-DO cellular connection that is then converted to Wi-Fi so that many passengers in the car can get secure Web access on their laptops, video game devices and other equipment, simultaneously, without wires, said Sterling Pratz, CEO of Autonet Mobile, which supplies the device to Chrysler.

[From Car Internet Debuts From Chrysler – 8/12/2008 11:55:00 AM – TWICE]

Corporate Taxes

I’d like to offer a correction, the number of companies that pay income taxes is ZERO because companies don’t pay taxes, their customers do it for them in the form of higher prices.

I do agree with many quoted in this article that the problem is the tax code itself, which among the many big ticket problems we have require the kind of overhaul that politicians are historically incapable of delivering… the effective kind. Recall that the tax system we now have is a product of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, who’s primary goal was inserting fairness, efficiency and simplicity into the Federal tax code.

About two-thirds of U.S. companies and foreign firms doing business in this country paid no federal income taxes from 1998 to 2005, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., called the report “a shocking indictment of the current tax system.”

[From Most U.S. firms paid no taxes over 7-year span]

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