Link Love From The Car Connection: Hot Art Cars, Lame Holograms, And The iChange Did It

February 17, 2009

Welcome to Tuesday, ladies and gents. With the industry hearings in D.C., it's bound to be a very busy day, but here are a few lighthearted links to distract you from all the grisliness:

  • We just hope the cars remain crash-free -- Tech outfit Hughes Telematics has seen the future, and it looks a lot like the iPhone App Store. Starting in 2010, the company will offer a range of add-on programs for its navigation hardware--downloadable apps to track mileage, start your car on chilly mornings, and take photos of would-be thieves. No word yet on whether the company is leaning toward iFart technology or upstart PullMyFinger. Stay tuned for the blowout. [NYTimes via AutoMotto]
  • Blinged-out -- Love art cars but can't make it to LA or NYC for the exhibitions we mentioned last week? Well, DRB has posted a few shots of other notable vehicles to tide you over. FYI, that floppy disk sedan has the guys in the server room swooning (though that might just be the heat from the servers). [DarkRoastedBlend]
  • Yeah, we said "balls" -- Remember Ron Bloom, the Jedi Master of failed industry we mentioned yesterday in conjunction with Obama's new auto task force? Well, the WSJ pulled up an interesting quote from the guy at a 2006 conference, in which he described his approach to corporate restructuring as "'dentist-chair bargaining,' in which the patient 'grabs the dentist by the b -- and says, "Now let's not hurt each other."'" That takes some balls--which we can say, even if WSJ doesn't have the cojones to. [WSJ]
  • Speaking of a certain task force -- No one would claim that Obama's task-force approach to the auto industry is ideal. However, it takes a special breed to go the extra mile and call the committee a "politburo". Not only is that a weak analogy, it's also a prize-winning version of 50s-era red-baiting. Next up: a sock hop, followed by a rally for the re-launch of the House Un-American Activities Committee. How retro. [TheDetroitBureau]
  • Ladytron 2009 -- John King isn't the only King of Holograms: an Australian outfit just put together a holographic virtual assistant for an Audi dealership "to facilitate enhanced communication and customer experience". Frankly, it's a little reminiscent of certain lame robots we could mention. We'll give it an "A" for effort, but a "C" for general creepiness. [Autoblog]
  • The iChange ups the Apple love -- We posted about Rinspeed's iChange electric car a couple of months back, and we were, to be fair, a little skeptical--not about whether designer Frank M. Rinderknecht could bring his 1-2-3 seat concept to fruition, but whether Rinspeed could overcome the dated "i" motif and clunky "Yes, we can" press release. Apparently, our pessimism was misplaced, 'cause here's a clip of the car in action. Please note the also-featured iPhone or iPod Touch. Oh yes, they did. [WorldCarFans]

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