Here are some random musings from CES

Ford Shows Off the Future of Hybrid Route Planning
Ford has a big presence at CES as it has in previous years. The company had a number of vehicles on display including the Fusion EcoBoost, Fusion Energi, the new Escape, Focus Electric, and Focus ST. However, one of the more interesting revelations came from research Ford is looking into to help drives make better use of their battery range on hybrid vehicles.

Ford Fusion Energi 

Although the technology is still a few years into the future, it was showing off how drivers can designate electric-only "green zones" on a map via their computer. These green zones would indicate when the vehicle should switch from running the gasoline engine to using only the electric motor(s).
So let's say for example that you setup your neighborhood as a green zone and your work office is 20 miles away. On your commute home, your hybrid would optimize its use of the gasoline engine and the electric motor/batteries to ensure that by the time you cross the threshold of your neighborhood that there would be enough charge left to cruise into your driveway on battery power alone.

Green Zones would be totally customizable by the user. We don't know, however, if Ford will be implementing Microsoft's "Avoid Ghetto" GPS functionality...
Tesla Model S draws a crowd
Of all the vehicles on display at CES, the Tesla Model S was the only one that had a line for people to get inside. The sexy red EV, which was on display at the NVIDIA booth, was packed with CES attendees all day long. I, however, didn't see anyone try to hop into the jump seats in the cargo area.

The Tesla Model S will have a starting price of $57,400 before a $7,500 tax credit. The base model will have a top speed of 110mph and a drive range of 160 miles. To get a 300-mile driving range, you'll have to pony up at least $77,400 before tax credit.

Super Talent Cranks out the SSDs
SSDs are clearly taking over the market and we definitely saw plenty of them at CES. It's only naturally that thin and light notebooks take advantage of the SSD technology, but desktop users are also on the receiving end of ultra-fast read and write speeds.

Super Talent was on hand to show its RAIDDrive II PCI-Express-based SSD that contains eight SandForce SF-2200 controllers (up to 2TB is supported). The drive is capable of 2.6GB/s reads and 1.6GB/s writes. A more basic model, the upStream 480GB, "only" has four SF-2200 controllers.
Also on hand was the Titan Express RC8 USB 3.0 drive, which is basically an SSD in your pocket thanks to its eight channels of flash. Read speeds for the drive are 270MB/s while write speeds are equally impressive at 240MB/s.

HP ENVY 14 Spectre crams 14" display into a 13" body
HP's ENVY 14 Spectre is an interesting, if not heavy, take on the Ultrabook craze. The $1,400 Spectre manages to cram a 14" 1600x900 display into the body of a 13" notebook according to HP. However, once you add in the glass display, glass LCD lid, glass palm rest, and glass keyboard surround, you're left with an Ultrabook that weighs nearly four pounds (actually 3.79-pounds). Compare that to Samsung's new 13" Series 9 that comes in at a svelte 2.5-pounds (even the 15" model is "only" 3.5-pounds) and we're left scratching our heads.

However, it does come with Beats Audio if you're into that kind of audio marketing.
Synology adds "Dropbox-esque" functionality with Cloud Station in DiskStation Manager 4.0 beta
If you're familiar at all with Dropbox, then you'll feel right at home the latest edition of the Disk Manager software (which is now up to 4.0 beta). Cloud Station allows you to sync files across Windows and OS X computers. For mobile users, iOS and Android devices are also supported. I asked about possibly adding support for Windows Phone, but was told that the software engineers feel that the relatively poor sales performance of the platform doesn't warrant devoting energy to building compatible software.

Other new features in version DSM 4.0 include a revamped UI, improved power management, and free antivirus software.
The beta is available for users of users of 2008 and newer Synology NAS devices.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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