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CES: Connected Cars

Today’s driver has more in-car entertainment options than ever before.  And, all of the leading automakers were in Las Vegas last week showing them off at 2013 International CES, the massive consumer electronics show.

Next generation in-car entertainment (or infotainment) systems offer much more than traditional AM/FM radio.  Internet radio (iHeart, Pandora, etc.) is coming to cars, and that’s not all.  Drivers will also be able to send a text, tweet, update their Facebook status and interact with their favorite apps using voice recognition, without taking their eyes off the road.

The latest in navigation and telematics were on display, including navigation systems that incorporate real-time traffic information and can route you around trouble spots. There was also a self-driving car demo, although it will be years before that technology might ever get to market.

Read more about the Connected Car at CES:

Consumer Reports – CES 2013: The hottest car tech in Vegas

Extreme Tech – Connected Cars at CES: Automakers smarten the dashboard, keep CD player on life support

 

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Eclipse Chasers Follow the Sun

Leaving Las Vegas will take on a whole new meaning on Sunday when sky watchers head north on Interstate 15 to Utah to experience the annular solar eclipse.  This will be the most spectacular solar eclipse visible in the U.S. in more than a decade.  At its peak, the moon will cover 94% of the sun, casting a shadow on earth and creating a ‘ring of fire’ in the sky.

annular solar eclipse

This image of the solar eclipse on Jan. 4, 2011, was taken from space. Source: Space.com

The eclipse will begin in Asia, and arrives in the USA over Northern California near the Oregon border on Sunday May 20, 2012.

A good portion of the USA west of Ohio will experience a partial solar eclipse, but Utah and New Mexico will be in the direct path of the eclipse, which will be at its peak, covering virtually all of the sun, at 6:30pm PT.

Interstate 15, the freeway that links Nevada and Utah, is expected to be crowded on Sunday, since Southern Utah (between St. George and Cedar City) is a prime eclipse viewing area.  Some Utah residents are even holding ‘eclipse viewing parties’ to commemorate the rare event.

San Francisco resident George T. Bundy plans to make the two hour trip from Las Vegas to St. George, Utah on Sunday afternoon to attend an eclipse viewing party.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to actually be right in the path of the eclipse,” said Bundy.  “I have my camera and video camera ready to go,” he added.

Tour operators are also cashing in on the event.  And, Zion National Park and other state parks in Utah and New Mexico are also popular places to see Sunday’s annular solar eclipse.

It’s dangerous to stare directly into the sun, so the eclipse is best viewed with glasses or inexpensive welders glass.  Click here for eclipse viewing safety tips

This annular solar eclipse is worth seeing, especially if you are near the prime viewing area.  The next solar event of this magnitude won’t come around for five more years, when a total eclipse of the sun will be visible across the USA on August 21, 2017.

Leaving Las Vegas on Sunday?  Check real time freeway conditions around St. George Utah.   The Nevada Highway Patrol provides current traffic tie ups on Interstate 15 and other Nevada highways.

Will you be traveling to see Sunday’s solar eclipse?  Share your experience with me! Enjoy!

Read more about the spectacular annular solar eclipse & other celestial activities at Space.com

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