Category Archives: Automotive

Dot Com Segway - PWN and FAIL Edition

It was a Segway kind of day today as Michael Kwan, John Chow and I travelled out to Langley, BC Canada for a private test ride of the new Segway x2. The test ride was setup by Larry Runnalls of Segway BC, the sole distributor of the product line this side of Canada. Larry has setup quite the business renting and selling Segways to the movie industry as well as ambulance and police forces across the BC. We were very thankful that he took time out of his day to deal with a group of misfits like us.

The Segway x2, unlike the tamer i2, features large knobby tires that make it useful for both trail and turf. It comes in an adventure version with super knobbies, while a Turf and Golf version use a less environmentally impacting fat tire pattern. Compared to the original models, the new versions, both i2 and x2 use Lithium Ion batteries vs the old NiCads and have increased its performance to a range of 40KM's per charge. The new Segways also carry a top speed of 20KM/h. The steering has also been greatly improved, using a yoke that tilts left and right versus the old twist turn system of the original Segways. This makes the turning more intuitive.

Unfortunately, this would be the last time you'll see Michael Kwan smiling as there is a reason this is called the "PWN and FAIL" Edition. Check out the video...

Poor Michael. He'll never live this or the "Spooning" thing down. Not only did he run over my FLIP Mino, but he ran over himself as well.

Fortunately, the FLIP Mino survived to tell the tale and to film another day. I was surprised that it didn't crush under the pressure of Michael and the Segway x2 running over it. I guess Pure Video really did do their homework when creating this device as the metal ring protected both the lens and the body from harm with just a few scratches.

Overall, everyone had a lot of fun today and even though a Kwanye and a Flip Mino were harmed in the making of this video, at least both will live to ride again another day. I'm sure we'll be sharing our war stories at this weekend's Dot Com Pho.

I'm a Proud Owner of a 2007 Yamaha C3 Scooter!

Over the last week, I've been tweeting my intentions to buy a scooter. Today, you're looking at a proud owner of a 2007 Yamaha C3 Scooter. The C3 is also known as the VOX in Asia and the Giggle in Europe. With a massive 49cc's of displacement, it's probably weaker than a John Deere ride on mower.

Why a Scooter?

The motivation to buy one didn't come from seeing scooters in Taipei. Far from it. Those people are crazy. It came from me realizing that I refilled my tank for $65.00 in my Subaru Impreza after coming back from Taipei. Gas was around $1.20/L when I left...then shot up to $1.49/L when I came back. The news the other night was also talking about the impact of a $3.00/L gas price with similar stories coming up from the US. As I filled my tank up, I remembered that I used to fill it for less than $50 less than a year ago. What a difference!

Because I work from home, I rarely have to drive anywhere to be honest. My only daily commute is to the depot to pick up parcels. Because of all the stop and go traffic I have to endure, I end up filling up once a week, or at least topping up every Monday for around $30 - 40 on average. Add to that I have to climb out of a hilly area, and my gas mileage is utter shit. To be honest, my only real need for a car is to come out to Richmond for Dot Com Pho because of the distance.

The Short List...

Because I didn't have a Class 6 Motorcycle License, I was limited to the growing 50cc and under range of Scooters. In British Columbia, if you have a full blown Class 5 drivers license, you can buy a scooter and drive it without passing the Motorcycle test. Basically, you're limited to regular road speeds which is about 50-60 km/h.

In this range, there are a number of Scooters available from names like VESPA, Yamaha and Honda, as well as Korean and Chinese brands. I decided to stick with either Honda or Yamaha and ditched VESPA because they tend to be extremely overpriced for the features that you get. However, try to tell that to a VESPA owner. Not to mention, I wanted somewhere to pull my Scooter to locally in case I had any issues and both Yamaha and Honda had service centers very close to where I live.

I narrowed my search to three scooters: Honda Ruckus, Yamaha BWS and Yamaha C3.

Continue reading I'm a Proud Owner of a 2007 Yamaha C3 Scooter!

Five Things I Observed About Traffic in Taipei...

Wow, I can't believe that COMPUTEX is here again!  In less than ten days, Michael Kwan, Ed Lau and myself will be in Taipei, Taiwan for the second biggest Computer Show in the world. The biggest is CeBit in Hannover, Germany. This will be my third time going, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing all the cool toys and of course, reporting to you live about the whole booth babe situation. We'll also be enjoying tons of free stuff and lots of parties! Since I've sworn off oversized free T-shirts, expect a few giveaways when I get back.

All the big websites that matter will be there like Tom's Hardware and Anandtech including many huge overseas websites like HardwareZone etc. It will be great to run into old friends from other overeseas publications. Last year, I was so surprised when I ran into people that were just as excited to see someone from Futurelooks as I was to run into them. The last couple years, I stopped in Hong Kong, but this year, the weather here in Vancouver is starting off too nice to miss out on. I was going to head to Japan this year, but I'll let Ed Lau scout it out this year before I head over next year. He's heading over for a couple months after the show so I expect to hear about "Beautiful Girls direct to his Hotel".

Five Things I Observed About Traffic in Taiwan

One of the things that Taipei is known for is the huge scooter population and the heavy traffic in the city core during rush hours...or hours...as the city is pretty much open 24/7. While in Taiwan for COMPUTEX over the last couple of years, I had a really good chance to observe the driving habits of the locals. I mean, it explains a few things when you head to Richmond and almost die. Here's what I observed that may keep you from dying if you decide to go there and tempt fate by walking across the street...

Continue reading Five Things I Observed About Traffic in Taipei...

How Fast Do You Need to Have Your Evening News?

In order to settle the score of which news station reigns supreme, KDBC 4 and KVIA 7 decided to drag race their news vans to settle the score of who gets on the scene the fastest. After covering a horrific drag racing accident, the two news van drivers laid the pride of their stations on the line on the drag strip. At least they weren't street racing...

At the end of the day, both of them ended up being losers. Both drivers and crews got fired for their misconduct. Personally, I thought it was a great publicity stunt for the stations, but I do think that it might have been a better idea to set a day where they weren't on the clock and it wasn't after an accident on the track. Do you think the news stations overreacted or do you think they were justified in their dismissals?