U.K. commissions 'green' Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover, a subsidiary of Tata Motors, has received a grant worth 27 million pounds--more than $37 million--to mass-produce a "green" crossover vehicle.

The car will be a street version--or a more practical variation--of the LRX concept vehicle that Jaguar Land Rover debuted at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2008.

The concept version was a hybrid 2-liter turbo diesel crossover vehicle, combining features of a car and an SUV. The concept got about 50 mpg on average, according to its specs.

Jaguar Land Rover's announcement comes as the U.K. government held a meeting Wednesday … Read more

Sentience takes the guesswork out maximizing hybrid efficiency

How can hybrids become even more efficient? You can start by removing the driver from the equation.

The Sentience Research Vehicle is a hybrid test car that uses existing onboard systems, mobile communications, and advanced mapping technologies to determine the most fuel efficient way to get to a destination. The project is a joint effort by Ricardo Company and project partners Jaguar-Land Rover, Transport Research Laboratory, and several other European interest groups, and was revealed earlier this week.

Basically, the Sentience's system removes the guesswork from and automates when and the best way to accelerate, brake, and balance the car's electrical load. … Read more

WiiWare and Virtual Console releases for this week

This week brings us an arcade platform for WiiWare and an adventure in Monster Land. WiiWare Niki - Rock 'n' Ball (Bplus, 500 Wii points): Niki - Rock 'n' Ball is a platforming game that approaches a classic game mechanic in a brand new way. Liberate villages by eliminating the enemies that have appeared. Virtual Console Wonder Boy in Monster Land (1988, Sega Master System, 500 Wii points): Weird box art aside, you'll take on the role of Wonder Boy as you battle fire-breathing dragons and other strange enemies. Use magic spells and weapons to make your quest a … Read more

Dork throws Netbook in front of moving laser, lives to take pictures

Revolving dork (no really--revolving dork) Chris Maguire harbors such an intense love for the original Super Mario Land and his Asus Eee PC that he did what any of us would do: he laser-etched the entire game (as it appeared on the original Game Boy) onto the lid of the Netbook!

We're not sure what safety precautions Mr. Maguire took before the surgery to ensure the safety of the Eee PC, but the end result is flawless. The laser cutter, courtesy of NYC Resistor in Brooklyn, rigged up the final artwork to show all the levels cascading on top of each other in several layers.

Chris provides the Mario Land etching pattern here, but recommends you try to make one yourself and set the laser in "raster mode at 70 percent speed and 40 percent power to achieve this look."

More pictures of Chris's masterpiece after the break.… Read more

YouTube launches HD video page

YouTube announced Thursday that it has launched a new landing page to corral all the high-definition video uploaded to the site.

Along with the new page, YouTube's HD player now launches in a widescreen window that takes up the majority of the browser window. YouTube posted an FAQ on how to how to encode HD videos and how to avoid "windowboxing"--images that are surrounded by black bars.

The video-sharing site quietly rolled out HD-enabled videos earlier this month by adding a "watch in HD" option where the "watch in high quality" option … Read more

More competitors for Google Lunar X Prize

More scientists and engineers are about to join the international race to the moon sponsored by Google and the X Prize Foundation.

The foundation announced Thursday it will introduce two new Google Lunar X Prize teams to its already weighty roster of 14 competitors. The announcement will be made Tuesday via a teleconference from Google headquarters. Although the X Prize Foundation organizes a number of innovation competitions, the Google Lunar X Prize is sponsored in conjunction with Google.

Team LunaTrex will also have an announcement to make at that time, according to the foundation.

Then on Wednesday, Google and the … Read more

Marry your home and cell phones with Xlink

A few years ago, I bought a fancy home phone so I could set it to forward calls to my cell. Not long after, I found a better and cheaper solution by ditching the landline completely.

I am not alone. According to Nielsen, 17 percent of U.S. households--some 20 million homes--are without a wired telephone, instead relying solely on mobile phones.

This brings up a question of what we should do with that fancy home phone. I do miss the comfort of using the big handset rather than fumbling on the tiny, onscreen keyboard of my iPhone.

Xtreme Technology … Read more

The 404 202: Where it's hot as hell and Jeff is hungry

Several times throughout today's show, The 404 almost causes the universe to implode. Our Earth-shaking collection of topics today include a story about Viagra missiles, iPhone flaws and young love, divinely drunk intervention, and more Ryan Gosling/Ryan Reynolds confusion...which witch is which?!

One of the more ridiculous stories on today's show is about a man that somehow managed to smuggle a fake, but extremely realistic looking missile into New York with a sticker on the side that proudly read "VIVA VIAGRA." After driving around New York, making stops at Times Square and the Trump Tower, the man ended up in front of the Pfizer corporate building where the company promptly slapped a restraining order and a cease and desist warning on his man-made missile. The craziest part about this story is the fact that one man somehow drove through the Midtown tunnel and several New York police officers with a missile attached to his truck.

Is that all it takes? The man claims that ""New York City cops are smart. They know the difference between a mock-up and the real thing," and that's all well and good, but what about scaring the sh*t out of thousands of New Yorkers? Mass chaos isn't so fun. Do you think The 404 should pull a stunt like this? Clearly it'd be pretty easy to set in motion, and you know we need the publicity! Any suggestions? Leave us a comment and and let us know!

EPISODE 202 Download today's podcast Read more

Review: 2009 Range Rover Sport HSE

Terrain crawling tech lets the 2009 Range Rover Sport HSE maintain its rugged reputation, but an upscale price means luxury elements, such as real wood trim and a refrigerator in the console. Offroad enthusiasts may think the lack of a fold-down windshield keeps the Range Rover Sport in the soft-road class, but this tank enhances its locking differentials with an air suspension that moves it into high-clearance mode. Terrain programs fine-tune the Range Rover's handling for the slippery and jagged.

The basics of cabin tech are here, including navigation and cell phone integration, but integration is poor. The navigation … Read more