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ABCs of Car Tech: Driver aid systems

Last time, we took a look at how cars protect their passengers in the event of a crash. This week, we're taking a look at a few high-tech ways that modern vehicles can help prevent accidents in the first place.

Modern tech cars can be equipped with a host of driver aid systems that help make driving easier for your average commuter. From road-aware cruise control systems to self-aware headlight systems, cars are getting smarter every day.

Adaptive cruise control If the standard cruise control system was the first step toward vehicular autonomy, then adaptive cruise control system is … Read more

Netgear brings dual-band 450Mbps to a gaming adapter

LAS VEGAS--Netgear announced today at CES 2012 its first dual-band 450Mbps adapter, the N900 Video and Gaming 4-Port Wi-Fi Adapter (model WNCE4004).

It connects Ethernet-ready devices, such as desktop computers, printers, and game consoles, to an existing Wi-Fi network. The adapter comes with four network ports, meaning you can add up to four wired devices to the Wi-Fi network at the far end of the connection.

The fact that it supports dual-band and the higher 450Mbps speeds means that you can use it with any existing wireless networks without having to worry about compatibility or performance degradation.

Netgear says that … Read more

Apple patent application details password-protecting power adapters

In a recent patent application uncovered by The Apple Blog, Apple has detailed a system for allowing your power adapter to become a security key for your password recovery process.

In basic terms, should you forget your password, an onscreen recovery application would prompt you to plug in your specific power adapter to confirm your identity. That adapter would store the necessary passwords and give you access to them when needed.

Current security measures, such as sending a verification e-mail or answering security questions are easily attacked by hackers who have managed to create any number of very sophisticated applications … Read more

Get a flexible USB adapter for $2.98 shipped

You may think I'm scraping the bottom of the deal barrel today, but hear me out.

While supplies last, Cctveworld via Ebay has the Flexible Swivel Twist Angle 360 USB Adapter for $2.98 shipped.

Update: Sold out, but this seller has the same thing for $2.99 shipped.

Why would you want such a thing? Simple: To make USB cables go where you want them to go, rather than sticking out of your PC at aesthetically displeasing angles.

See, my laptop doubles as my desktop. Thus I keep various USB peripherals plugged in at all times: iPhone dock, … Read more

CNET Roadside Assistance 038: How often should you really change your oil? (podcast)

The best GPS you can load on your phone, how often you should change your oil in the real world, don't trust that self-braking car with your life (or someone else's) and adding remote start and seat heaters the right way.

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EPISODE 38 SHOW NOTES

Kanex ships 10-foot MHL cable

A few months after making the first MHL-HDMI adapter available for existing HDMI displays, Kanex announced today that it's now shipping a 10-foot MHL Passive Cable for use with HDTVs that have built-in support for the MHL standard. … Read more

Apple wins patent for intelligent dock connector

Your power management could be getting a whole lot smarter. Apple has just been granted a patent that details an intelligent dock connector able to properly adjust power levels for multiple connected devices from a single outlet source.

As with other power-related patents that Apple has applied for in the past, the technology involved here seems to be exactly the kind of thing people, including myself, have been waiting for. In a time when everything needs to be charged, be it a MacBook Pro, an iPad 2, or an iPhone 4S, having a one-and-done solution is certainly the solution many … Read more

Apple settles split cord MagSafe lawsuit

Apple has reached a proposed settlement in a class action lawsuit involving older models of its MagSafe power adapters.

Those particular adapters, the 60W and 85W versions that shipped on earlier models of the company's MacBook and MacBook Pro portable computers, were prone to splitting and became the target of a class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit claimed that the particular adapter design was defective to the point of where it "dangerously frays, sparks and prematurely fails to work." The 2009 filing accused Apple of knowing about, and misrepresenting the problem, claims Apple denied in court. AdapterSettlement.com'… Read more

Ooma brings Wi-Fi to 'free' Telo phone system

Attention all owners of the Ooma Telo VoIP phone system or anybody considering buying it: you can now go wireless.

The company has taken the wraps off a new $49.99 Telo Air Wi-Fi adapter that allows you to place the Telo anywhere in your home that's within range of your wireless network. That's a big deal for Ooma, because a lot of folks don't want to have to tether the Telo base station to a wireless router that's hidden away in a closet or situated in a less-than-ideal spot in their home.

For those who … Read more

Kanex MHL HDMI adapter: Smartphone's screen on an HDTV

If you want to view your smartphone's content on an HDTV, you can either wait for one that supports wireless display technology, such as WHDI, or get what Kanex started shipping today, an MHL HDMI adapter.

This tiny adapter has one end that plugs into the phone's existing Micro-USB port and the other end is a standard HDMI port. When used with an HDMI cable, you can use the phone with any HDMI-based display. The adapter enables users to view videos, games, photos, and other media from their mobile devices in high definition up to 1080p at 60Hz … Read more