Entries Tagged 'media' ↓

Apple Does the Right Thing

The best camera in the world is the one that you have with you when you need it. I’ve used three different conventional action cameras as in-car units over the years, but I have increasingly come to rely upon my iPhone. I ran into some difficulties with my iPhone in 2017, that all started with a cracked screen. I was on the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT media drive in northern New England when the phone slipped from my hand and hit the sidewalk, glass down …

The glass was cracked, but perfectly usable (for a while), until the day it wasn’t.

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How Did You Get Here?

My daily routine always includes a check of MPGomatic’s website stats over that first cup of coffee or tea. And seeing that we were out of coffee this morning, tea it was. So I made myself a cup of Earl Grey, sat down in front of the computer, and fired up Google Analytics to check the traffic situation.

Another Monday, another random spike in MPGomatic.com traffic. Monday is always a busy day, but yesterday was even more so. At first I attributed it to the onset of spring and a hopeful sign that the economy is beginning to thaw with the jump in the stock market.

As I dug deeper into the daily site statistics, I noticed a dramatic jump in traffic to the front page of MPGomatic.com … without a referring link. This always makes me scratch my head. The last time this happened, it was from a mention in a MSN/TreeHugger article

If you’re new to MPGomatic.com, a hearty welcome … and if you’re a regular, welcome back! 🙂

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An Anti-Diesel Conspiracy in America?

It’s been half a decade since I killed a tree (and I’ve killed more than my share in my day), but that might come to an end very soon. I’m getting ready to shop a book/documentary proposal, with the working title “Bent Over a Barrel” … it’s the story of how Big Oil’s actions and influence have driven this country’s economy to its current state.

Influence is just as important as action (or inaction).

Here’s a specific case in point …

Last April, Newsweek published a piece entitled Miles to Go, with the far more descriptive yet entirely misleading subhead, “Why automakers don’t sell a car that gets 50 MPG.” Never once does the article mention fuel-efficient diesel engines, yet the article begins with the chestnut:

Wouldn’t it be great if you could drive a car that gets 50 miles per gallon? Well, you can. Just hop on a plane and fly to Europe, where all new cars average 43mpg, or Japan, where the average hits 50mpg.

Well, gee … why do European cars get such great mileage? Lets guess … it’s not just because they are often smaller then their American counterparts. It’s not because Europeans are driving hybrids (which they largely dismiss). It’s because more than fifty percent of the new cars sold in Europe use far more efficient diesel engines.

Can we blame the article’s omission of fact on editorial ignorance or something more heinous?

Ah, but all hope is not lost.

Earlier this month, Newsweek woke up and ran an article entitled Diesel vs. Hybrid, with the subhead “There’s more than one way to build an environmentally-friendly car.”

Could it be? The oil men have left the building and only weeks later Newsweek wakes up to the facts?

The piece opens and closes with the word from Volkswagen. The 2009 Jetta TDI is flying off the lot. VW put in the work to bring a clean diesel engine to the States and the gamble – rather, the investment – is paying off.

The vast majority of Americans have absolutely no clue how wonderful the new clean diesels are to drive. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time test driving clean diesel vehicles over the past year, at my own expense. (My research and coverage is not influenced by corporate overlords, though it is constrained by current economic conditions.)

The German automobile manufacturers absolutely have it right. Bringing fuel-efficient fun-to-drive clean diesels to America takes a lot of guts … and smarts.

MPGomatic Featured on CNN

Continuing on a media roll, MPGomatic landed an ever-so-brief segment on CNN yesterday, after submitting an iReport on the topic of “would you buy an American car.” The segment happened completely on a whim, after deciding that Tuesday was the day to fire up the iMac’s webcam and cut a quick report.

The phone rang just minutes after uploading the video to CNN’s server.

My jaw dropped when I saw “Turner Broadcasting” on the Caller ID. CNN.com reporter Katie Hawkins-Gaar asked a slew of questions.

I did my best to reply, although I couldn’t come up with the answer to the seemingly simple question “what’s your favorite car?”

A victim of abundance, I spend time with so many cars, it’s tough to name just one.

This morning, I discovered that a clip from my piece actually made it on the air. You’ll see it about 2:10 in …

Here’s the complete iReport:

MPGomatic Traffic Jumps

In the words of Bart Simpson, “holy cow!”

We’re getting LOTS of traffic to the front page of MPGomatic.com this morning and I haven’t been able to figure out where it’s coming from. My best guess is that we landed a media mention somewhere.

I couldn’t let this pass by without sending out a hearty welcome to all our new friends! I’d love to know who to thank for the mention …

UPDATE: Wow … it’s MSN … Many thanks for the heads-up!
The author of the article kindly referenced our Toyota Yaris review.

Please feel free to drop your comments and questions. 🙂