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It seems like GM is once again taking an approach that is going to hurt them, and hurt the perception of hybrids in general. It's apparent with this new car that GM has no idea what a hybrid is intended to do. They're cutting corners, and it's just further evidence that GM has lost touch with the American public. It's sad, because my wife has a Saturn - when owning a Saturn was something special. Now we have that same special feeling of ownership, except it's with a Prius!


http://www.cnn.com/2006/AUTOS/04/17/sat ... index.html
 

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Why is it that all Detroit can come up with are SUV's as hybrids :?
If they would take and start putting them into passenger cars they might find themselves with winners. This Saturn doesn't sound like a hybrid just like a golf cart step on the gas and it goes, foot off the gas and it stops
 

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Probably because the American buyer still wants a SUV rather than a sedan. The car just makes much more sense for a growing family. This goes for the used car market also.
Actually, this is not just GM's method of going for higher milage vehicles with a lot less complexity and expense. This will probably be the way the rest of the worlds manufacturers will follow to keep initial costs down. At least, something has started in the desire to conserve oil and shave the cost of fuel fill-ups with what we now have.
The present administration in Washington is still concentrating on hydrogen fuel cells which are still years away.
 

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CNN.com said:
In all hybrid vehicles, the gasoline engine automatically shuts off as soon as the vehicle stops moving even at stop signs and red lights.
At what point does this stop being a cheerfully almost-but-not-quite-accurate oversimplification I can nitpick, and start being an urban legend? For a source like CNN to be saying this so definitively, you'd almost think it was literally true.

One thing I wonder: does this qualify for the IRS 2006 hybrid credit? Every single analysis I see of the "hybrids cost more and take too long to make up the cost" ignores that factor, probably because it is transitory -- though the whole idea is that the hybrid margin is supposed to also be transitory, depending on wider production of hybrids. With that in mind, while this might be a pretty poor hybrid, it might be good for hybrids-in-general.

Just hope we don't see too many people try one, say "bah, this whole hybrid thing isn't that great after all" because of this particular hybrid engine being lame, and abandon the idea. Same thing as happened to a lot of people who heard about TiVo so got a satellite or cable provided "just like TiVo" PVR which sucked, and then wondered what the fuss about TiVo was.
 

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HunterGreen said:
Same thing as happened to a lot of people who heard about TiVo so got a satellite or cable provided "just like TiVo" PVR which sucked, and then wondered what the fuss about TiVo was.
I know this is off topic, but what is the big deal with Tivo?

I do more with a plain vcr and don't have to pay a monthly fee to do it.
 

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It's hard to explain simply. No, it's easy to explain simply, but the simple explanations leave out too much and leave people saying "what's the big deal?"

Best I can say briefly is, your VCR only works because you do all the work (and probably don't even realize how much that is). TiVo does it for you. Why is Roomba better than a broom, or a Prius better than walking? Plus TiVo does it better; it can find more than you ever can, while taking up zero of your time doing it. Finally, the fact that you can watch whatever you have any time -- even while something else is recording -- adds the last piece to the puzzle because it means you can now watch anything you like any time you like without even having to think about what's being recorded when, or indeed anything other than "what do I want to watch now?"

(Incidentally, I don't pay a monthly fee for my TiVo either.)
 

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BIGGUY said:
Why is it that all Detroit can come up with are SUV's as hybrids :?
If they would take and start putting them into passenger cars they might find themselves with winners. This Saturn doesn't sound like a hybrid just like a golf cart step on the gas and it goes, foot off the gas and it stops
What's wrong with making SUV hybrids? If anything, making an SUV into a hybrid does MORE for the environment than doing it to a sedan.

Case in point: GM's 'ultra-mild-hybrid' full-size pickup trucks. (The ones where it's a hybrid really just so construction workers can plug their power tools in.) Yes, it only gains you 2 mpg city, and no improvement on the highway. But it goes from being a heavily-polluting truck to being an SULEV!

You're not going to see a 50 mpg Hummer Hybrid, but any time you improve the emmissions profile of a vehicle, it's good! Especially in the American market where 'Big Three' SUVs are still tops. If all of the big three were to convert all of their SUVs to hybrids (even 'high-power' hybrids like the Accord,) emissions would still drop a decent amount.

Yeah, it would be nice if all cars went 'full hybrid', but even adding 'belt alternator starter' hybrid is an improvement.
 

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I think it is really funny that GM adds "Vue Green Line" and they think that makes it environmentally friendly. Like adding the word "green" makes this car a stellar enviro friendly vehicle.

I like the idea that when the car is stopped at a red light or stop sign, the engine stops, then kicks back on when the car starts moving. That will help a wee bit.

Kind of like putting food in green packaging and calling it healthy. I laugh when I see bacon in green colored packaging and they try to pass it off as 'lean'.
 

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jflowerus said:
I know this is off topic, but what is the big deal with Tivo?

I do more with a plain vcr and don't have to pay a monthly fee to do it.
I apologize in advance for biting on the off topic conversation but I feel compelled to share the "good news" of Tivo.

A Tivo lets you completely disassociate time and channel from the programs you watch, both while recording and watching. The best example of this is their "Season Pass". I say I want to watch Desperate Housewives (just an example). I don't need to know when it is on or what channel it is on. I just subscribe to it. Even if it moves days and times, all of the episodes will be recorded.

That is not typical VCR functionality and not even available, as far as I know, on any of the PVR/DVRs offered by any other cable or satellite company. There are a host of other features as well that make recording easier than with anything else but I won't list them here.

I was skeptical too at first but now am one of the "Tivo has changed my life" converts. I rarely watch live TV anymore. I just watch from my stash of subscribed season passes.
 

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ehurtley said:
What's wrong with making SUV hybrids? If anything, making an SUV into a hybrid does MORE for the environment than doing it to a sedan.

Case in point: GM's 'ultra-mild-hybrid' full-size pickup trucks. (The ones where it's a hybrid really just so construction workers can plug their power tools in.) Yes, it only gains you 2 mpg city, and no improvement on the highway. But it goes from being a heavily-polluting truck to being an SULEV!

You're not going to see a 50 mpg Hummer Hybrid, but any time you improve the emmissions profile of a vehicle, it's good! Especially in the American market where 'Big Three' SUVs are still tops. If all of the big three were to convert all of their SUVs to hybrids (even 'high-power' hybrids like the Accord,) emissions would still drop a decent amount.

Yeah, it would be nice if all cars went 'full hybrid', but even adding 'belt alternator starter' hybrid is an improvement.
There is nothing really wrong with it. It's just that our problems with oil, (supply, cost, and impact on the environment) appear to be getting steadily and rapidly worse. Saving a few MPG off of SUVs is like the federal government slashing a $10 million program from the budget and patting themselves on the back for a job well done, while they have a $400 billion budget deficit. Again, nothing wrong with saving a few bucks, but when it is miniscule compared to the problem though, its hard to get too excited about it, especially when you know they could do a whole lot better.
 

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TiVolution rocks!

jflowerus said:
I know this is off topic, but what is the big deal with Tivo?

I do more with a plain vcr and don't have to pay a monthly fee to do it.
You used to be able to get standalone TiVos w/lifetime subscription (lifetime of the unit), but they got rid of that on 4/15/06. I have 3 standalones [all loaned out right now] with lifetime on them.

To chime in too regarding TiVo, besides the points already mentioned, it's just WAY more convenient. I used to timeshift using a VCR and it wasn't the most convenient. You need to know when the show's on, program the start and stop times, the tape needs to be in and at the right position, VCR needs to be off, rewind once the recording is done, etc. With a VCR, if a show's on from 9-10 pm and it's 9:30 pm, you can't just watch starting from the beginning while it's still recording, you'd have to watch what's on right at that time or wait till 10.

The best way is just to set season passes for all the shows you like and not worry about it. You can also create wishlists for criteria like actor, directory, keyword, and category and view the upcoming shows that match. Let's say you like Teri Hatcher, I just looked it up and found 3 things in the next 2 weeks with her in it: an ep of Desperate Housewives, a Tonight Show ep, and a Live with Regis and Kelly. If you really like Teri Hatcher, you can set it to be an auto-record wishlist (ARWL). With an ARWL, anytime something meets that criteria, it gets autorecorded for you.

Back to timeshifting, I've got a DirecTivo (it's dual tuner) so I can record two channels at once. On my To Do list as a result of SPs and single instance recordings, there are 21 things scheduled to record on my TiVo (not that I watch AL of them) TOMORROW. Try managing that w/a VCR or two.

I agree w/the others that you won't watch live TV much anymore. But if you do, you can pause live TV and go backwards/forwards in the buffer.

I'll chime in and say it totally changes the way you watch TV. To the person asking, too bad you don't live in the SF Bay Area, otherwise I might be willing to give you a demo.
 

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Off of the tv issue and back on the SUV redwein, I suggest if you lived anywhere but in northern or southern California you would not see any problem. Not much you can do with a trillion cars no matter what kind they are. Get your legislature to insist on yearly "smog" tests on all vehicles in the state if you want to see any type of improvement. I've visited with friends out there that tell me it can be expensive but as long as it is only once every three years any car can be "doctored" to pass a one time shot, and I find it amazing to hear of some of the practises prescribed.
Interesting "sidebar" I think on my last week on the roads in the bay area I observed many Prius but saw nary one hummer! (maybe they are not good on San Francisco's hills?)
 

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eyeguy13 said:
I think it is really funny that GM adds "Vue Green Line" and they think that makes it environmentally friendly. Like adding the word "green" makes this car a stellar enviro friendly vehicle.
Well, if they're using the same 2.4L 4cyl that's in the cobalt, which is a PZEV engine. So if they keep the same emissions system, they (and ford) could have PZEV hybrid SUVs, while Toyota's hybrid SUV's aren't. Hell of an ironic situation there.
 

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hyperion said:
Off of the tv issue and back on the SUV redwein, I suggest if you lived anywhere but in northern or southern California you would not see any problem. Not much you can do with a trillion cars no matter what kind they are. Get your legislature to insist on yearly "smog" tests on all vehicles in the state if you want to see any type of improvement. I've visited with friends out there that tell me it can be expensive but as long as it is only once every three years any car can be "doctored" to pass a one time shot, and I find it amazing to hear of some of the practises prescribed.
Interesting "sidebar" I think on my last week on the roads in the bay area I observed many Prius but saw nary one hummer! (maybe they are not good on San Francisco's hills?)
I actually wasn't suggesting that people go out and get rid of their cars immediately. I was more suggesting that auto companies could do a better job of increasing fuel economy (via hybrid or otherwise) either voluntarily or by the government increasing standards. I think that coming out with new vehicles that have such a modest impact is not good enough to make any claims about "solving" the problem. I'm sure when gas gets to $4 and $5 per gallon, consumers will demand more fuel efficient cars, even if they are smaller than SUVs. It happened 30 years ago and that is how Toyota really got into the US market. It will happen again.
 

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One thing you can do with a DVR that you can't do with a VCR is playback while recording. Did you think you saw something that you want a closer look at? Back up to it, play, replay, slow-mo and freezframe if you want. Then go back to the point in the program where you backed up. It was recording WHILE you were playing back. You can't do that with tape.
 

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Re: TiVolution rocks!

cwerdna said:
jflowerus said:
I know this is off topic, but what is the big deal with Tivo?

I do more with a plain vcr and don't have to pay a monthly fee to do it.
Not to mention the fact that my ReplayTV has room for about 120 hours of programming at medium quality. Anything I want to keep, I can spin off to VCR or DVD.

As you say, it will also look for and record anytning with a particular actor or on a particular subject; and once that is in, it continues to look until I tell it to stop. I've had several subjects in for over a year and, sure enough, it will pick up something on the subject every month or two. That's a great feature.

(This isn't off topic, is it???) :shock:
 

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Re: TiVolution rocks!

spindoc said:
cwerdna said:
jflowerus said:
I know this is off topic, but what is the big deal with Tivo?

I do more with a plain vcr and don't have to pay a monthly fee to do it.
Not to mention the fact that my ReplayTV has room for about 120 hours of programming at medium quality. Anything I want to keep, I can spin off to VCR or DVD.

As you say, it will also look for and record anytning with a particular actor or on a particular subject; and once that is in, it continues to look until I tell it to stop. I've had several subjects in for over a year and, sure enough, it will pick up something on the subject every month or two. That's a great feature.

(This isn't off topic, is it???) :shock:
Thanks for the Tivo overview.

It all sounds interesting, but I'll stick with my 5 VCRs and 200 tapes.

I time shift everything and almost never watch live TV.

Programing a VCR is no problem for me.
 
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