Treating Your Car As An Investment: Some Tips For Car Care

For many people a car is an investment in their job as it either has to deal directly with their work or it helps them get to and from work. More people are making extra money by using ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft so many people depend on their car to live a higher quality of life. A lot of people know a person who does not take care of their car whether it is mechanically or on the aesthetic side. A car can be seen as a representation of youself so take care of it and avoid huge problems in the future as many automobile mechanical problems tend to compound is not addressed. The following are a few tips to help you take care of the investment that is your car.

Aim To Have a Garage

The fact is that many apartments and townhomes do not have the option for anything but a covered parking spot. Having a garage can help protect your car from the wear and tear that extreme climates can have on a vehicle. The added security also gives a person a peace of mind that is unrivaled especially if they consider their car as another family member. Upgrading to a home with a garage does not have to be difficult as sites like Ready Steady Sell have qualified buyers ready to invest in another property. The garage is something that can be used for storage as well as a place to complete some DIY projects.

Take Time To Warm The Car Up

There are going to be climates whether your car is in a garage connected to the home or not that it will be necessary to warm up your car. Not only does it make it much more comfortable to sit in after a few minutes, it avoids any unnecessary strain on the car. You do not want to try to rev up the car too much and take it easy pulling out of the driveway. For those people who can start their car with a button you will not even have to brave the elements as you can watch the car warm up from the comfort of your home while sipping on a warm coffee. If your car has been sitting after a vacation for a while or an extended vacation you should warm the car up and possibly change the oil as time might have made it congeal.

Take The Check Engine Light Seriously

Plenty of people ignore the check engine light on their dash simply because they do not want to deal with any problems. Many issues with a car like low or no oil can have much more catastrophic impacts like issues with transmission which are traditionally extremely expensive to repair. Things like alignment might not seem important but this can make a car go through tires quite quickly and tires depending on a vehicle can be costly.

As you can see there are plenty of big and small things to take care of so your car will last for as long as possible. Comment additional ways you take care of your care on a regular basis.


The Power of Technology in Fighting DUI

Technology has literally saved and extended millions of lives. As technology advances, this becomes more and more true. From medical technologies to safety devices, often we take these life-saving gifts for granted. Now there is a new technology that could aid in the war against drunk driving fatalities. Imagine if we could reduce the number of DUI fatalities each year in the US from close to 10,000 to zero! Maybe that just isn’t possible right now, but if the technology that the DADSS program is working on becomes a reality and is eventually integrated with every new car that number could be reduced by a significant amount.

The DADSS program, or the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program, operates in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS), which represents the leading automakers. This partnership, made up of players from both the public and private sector, is one of the most important in recent years. The effort has the support of Congress and safety advocates across the nation and represents a unique coalition that could reduce and eventually eliminate drunk driving. All of the research for this technology is overseen by independent engineers and scientists and will include further testing in real-world scenarios prior to being made available as an option for consumers.

This new technology would be seamlessly integrated with automobiles and involved two different types of options. The first, is a sort of onboard breathalyzer, which automatically picks up the alcohol content of from the driver’s natural breathing patterns. The driver does not have to blow into a tube or voluntarily submit to some sort of pre-driving breath test, the car would do this automatically. If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit of .08, the car would not operate. The system would also be able to distinguish between the breath of the passengers and the driver and specifically test only the driver’s BAC.

The second type of system in this research is a touch-based system. This would also be integrated with the car and involve infrared light that can measure BAC through the fingertip. Sensors would be placed on steering wheels or start buttons and could take multiple readings on BAC in less than a second.

It’s hard to imagine that there could be any opponents to such a promising technology that could absolutely save the lives of thousands. The program began back in 2008 and has been progressing forward to the point of taking prototypes into real-world scenarios. If the technology is successful, perhaps there will also be a way to achieve integration older cars as well, further decreasing the incidences of deaths related to this epidemic. For now, the focus is getting the technology approved and integrated with new automobiles. Hopefully there will be minimal roadblocks in getting the necessary approvals and funding to make this happen.  

There is much testing to still be done, but this promises to be a revolutionary advance in the fight against drunk driving.

What the Internet of Things Means to You

In Denver, Colorado, Comcast has announced the launching of its Internet of Things network, which they are calling machineQ, in the next few months — it will then go live in eleven more cities.

The Motley Fool is finally advising its clients that investing in the Internet of Things is getting to be a good idea for those who want to see a quick turnover in profits.

MarketWatch has jumped on the bandwagon, as well — labeling the IoT industry ‘something to keep an eye on.’

And last month Forbes ran a detailed article on the White House American Technology Council’s deepening interest in and study of the Internet of Things.

So there’s plenty of interest right now in the IoT. Still, it’s not a term that brings instant recognition to most people outside of Silicon Valley and a few other high end financial and technological enclaves. Part of the problem, of course, is the psuedo-generic name ‘Internet of Things.’ Whoever was on Naming Duty the day that came up was asleep at the wheel. It’s not the most descriptive or concise terminology invented by the cyber sages in the past decade.

‘Thing’ is the kind of word that can have so many meanings, none of them very specific, that the average person cannot grasp just what it may mean. Dictionaries define the word ‘thing’ as, among other things — “Any item that a person either cannot or does not want to give a concrete name to” or  “A material object that is inanimate, and completely discrete from any form of common notice.” Which doesn’t do much to clear things up, does it?  As a descriptive word, as a noun, ‘thing’ remains an ambiguous and opaque term when clarity and specificity is wanted. A ‘thing’ can be a device, a manifestation of the physical world, or a plain everyday object. But unless there are specific nouns and adverbs included, it’s impossible to say just exactly what the ‘thing’ being mentioned is!

But the techies that apparently make the naming rules for such things have been enamored of the term ever since it was coined by a P&G marketer named Kevin Ashton back in the 90’s. So, like it or not, we are stuck with using the term “Internet of Things.”

Perhaps the best way to put it is that the Internet of Things mostly resembles all other great technology innovations in that it is built on intuition and insight — the insight that people are limited by their resources and their time when it comes to running and using technology. But since technology is becoming more and more of an essential part of our lives, at some point we have to let the technology start making the mundane, everyday decisions that are usually called ‘no-brainers’ but that take up so much time and effort, leaving us burned out and exhausted at the end of the day. In industries as varied as manufacturing to refrigeration, there are 1,000s of tasks that connected devices like those from Datawave Wireless are taking control of via IoT.

As Ashton himself has noted, the time humans have to spend on tracking deadlines and due dates could be put to much better use — so why not let the Internet of Things handle all that and spare workers and homebodies alike the time and effort?

Science fiction writers like Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov had already dreamed up the concept of an Internet of Things long before Ashton glommed onto it in the 90’s. Their robots and space stations were so interconnected that they accidentally ‘came alive’ and began reacting to their surroundings and masters as sentient beings. And who can forget the cartoon series “The Jetsons” from the Hanna Barbera studios? Good old George Jetson did virtually nothing while his space car, his home, even his robot maid Rosie, foresaw his every need and wish. THAT is what the Internet of Things is all about!

This coming year looks to be the time when the IoT comes into its own. Already, at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, there were a host of interactive and interconnected devices on display — everything from interconnected wearables that monitored your vitals and sent them to your doctor in real time to air conditioners that could be turned on and off remotely from miles away, so people could come home to a house already cooled to a comfortable temperature. It seems that every major industry and technology now recognizes the rising significance of the Internet of Things, and wants to start using it for product and service improvement and for customer impact.

To seal the deal, monolithic IBM has trumpeted the fact that they too are now on the IoT bandwagon. They will be ploughing over three billion greenbacks into IoT technology over the next four years in an effort to corner a small part of the interconnectivity market — which is where the smart seed money is now flowing to entrepreneurs who are not afraid to take this embryonic technology and concept for a wild ride into the cloud and beyond!

Google, Amazon, and Apple are all acquiring subsidiaries in the IoT field as well. Interconnected technology and devices can only help these Goliaths improve their bottom lines while raising efficiency and customer service.