Tag Archives: gas

What are the Best Computers of 2010?

Yahoo! has posted its list of the hottest desktop and laptop computers of 2010. Reading through the list, I had to shake my head in complete amazement. I agree with much of it, But a few of these items seem to have come from out of left field! I can’t help but wonder who in the heck made this list up, exactly, and what their computer qualifications are!

Check out the list for yourself, and leave me a comment with YOUR list of hottest computers for this year. Which brands have hit the nail right on the head, and which ones are falling a tad short?

What interesting things have you come across in your travels around the Internet today? Have you checked out what others in our community are up to?

Don’t forget to stop by our software center to see what great new freeware and shareware apps we have for you today!

What Should the Price of Fuel Be at the Pump?

Geek!This is Tim Whitney’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Appears everyone is screaming about Big Oil and their record multi-billion dollar profits. In America, everyone has a god-given (or natural) right to work hard, deliver a quality product, and make money – commonly understood as Capitalism.

Based on my web research, information from the EIA, and my own calculations, we Americans consume approximately 190,858,000,000 (billion) gallons of gasoline & diesel fuel per year. My research also indicates that Big Oil makes about $0.10/gallon or about $19,000,000,000 (billion) dollars in profit on fuel sales.

Big Oil could certainly make more profits – if they choose to – as we are still a free county. As one loyal American Capitalist, I could not fault them if they did make more money on “their” products. This would certainly open the door for more competition (bio-fuels?) – if we truly have an open/free market.

Does this mean I like paying $3.00 per gallon for fuel – NO WAY! I’m mad as hell and I think we should all stand up and tell the “real profiteers” we are not going to take it anymore. Just who are the real profiteers?

Sure the Middle East is a big profit player and I would even pay more per gallon — if we could stop using imported oil. Yet again, they are businessmen and it’s their oil, coming out of their ground and they have every right to charge what they want to. If you don’t like what someone charges – buy it from someone else, this is also your right.

By now you must be wondering who I think is raking us over the coals – if it’s not Big Oil and not the Middle East. The answer may surprise you, but the real profiteers are the local, state, and federal bureaucrats. Say what? You heard me loud and clear. Did a bureaucrat dig a well, build a pipeline, a refinery, or even drive a delivery truck? When was the last time you saw a bureaucrat-owned and operated gas station? Yet, our bureaucrats make more than four times the money per gallon of fuel than Big Oil does. The average “tax” is $.046/gallon, filling the government coffers to the tune of approximately $87,795,000,000 (billion) per year. Where is the yelling & screaming about this unbelievable tax (profit) the government Bureaucrats take – for not delivering a product?

What should the price of fuel be at the pump?

  • $25.55/gallon – I hope you are wondering why I suggest this. Simple math is the answer. Total projected government Depredations in 2007 is expected to be approximately $4,400,000,000,000 (trillion). Big Oil gets $2.50/gallon and local, state, and federal Bureaucrats get $23.05 per gallon. I’m sure you think I’m crazy – as people are already going broke at $3.00 per gallon.
  • $14.29/gallon – this would pay Big Oil about $2.50/gallon and the Federal bureaucrats would get the rest – $11.79/gallon. Why? The Federal budget for 2007 is $2,251,000,000,000 (trillion), and simple math tells the rest of the story.
  • $2.58/gallon – with crude oil costs at ~$76/barrel, no calculator is needed here. With a Presidential Executive Order, “all” fuel taxes could be suspended, until the price of crude oil drops below $50/barrel. See Executive Order 11051. This would also demand a restraint in total government /bureaucratic spending by $87,795,000,000 (billion) or a two percent reduction in spending for 2007. Of course, this restrain may also spur Congressional bureaucrats into real action with regards to an energy policy – one that keeps their fuel tax gravy-train rolling (by making sure oil stays under $50/barrel).

Please give all the above suggestions a little more thought before dismissing them as nonsense or frivolous. Think of all the various taxes and non-productive time we could eliminate – especially the income tax – by simply putting “one sales tax” on our energy-based economy. At either of the “depredation prices” suggested in 1 or 2 above – there will be ample incentive / demand for competition, conservation, new more efficient fuel technologies, and an end to our imported oil addiction.

“European governmentshave long used gasoline taxes not only as an important source of revenue, but also as a policy tool to drive down oil consumption and reduce pollution. Williams said taxes account for about 66 percent of the pump price in Britain – so, of this month’s average price per gallon of $6.40, about $4.22 goes to the government.” – The Boston Globe, 04/30/06

Competition (and only true competition) will create extremely economical transportation, less vehicles on the roads, a surge in telecommuting, and alternative energy breakthroughs. Competition, not bureaucrats, will generate real energy results on an annual basis – instead of decades or centuries, if left in the hands of Bureaucrats. However, paying $511 or $286 for a 20 gallon fill-up at the gas station will bring a lot of things into perspective for each and every driving American – real fast. Maybe it’s this “perspective” the bureaucrats should be investigating – their own windfall profits on every gallon of highway fuel sold in the USA.

How Do You Track Your Car's Fuel MPG?

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How do you calculate your miles per gallon, to see if you’re doing well with fuel economy? With the cost of gasoline these days, everyone is concerned with getting the best gas mileage you can out of your vehicle. Along comes Fuelly to help.

Fuelly is a site that lets you track, share, and compare your gas mileage. Simply sign up, add a car, and begin tracking your mileage.

By recording and analyzing your mileage, you can see how much money you can save with small driving changes. You can also see how your mileage compares with EPA estimates and the mileage of other drivers using Fuelly. Tips and a discussion forum also offer ways to save. The site is free to use, so sign up to start tracking your miles today.

Add a car to your profile, then either keep track of miles driven between fuel-ups (using your car’s tripometer) or record your odometer at each fuel-up (you can choose in your settings which way to record mileage).

I’m all for anything that can help save money. By using Fuelly, you can potentially maximize your fuel savings and have a little more coinage in your pocket.


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Is the Speed Limit a Gas Saver?

Sen. John Warner asked Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to look into what speed limit would provide optimum gasoline efficiency given current technology. He said he wants to know if the administration might support efforts in Congress to require a lower speed limit. Warner cited studies that showed the 55 mph speed limit saved 167,000 barrels of oil a day, or 2 percent of the country’s highway fuel consumption, while avoiding up to 4,000 traffic deaths a year. Let’s see what some of my friend had to say on Friendfeed.

The speed limit was repealed in 1995 when crude oil dipped to $17 a barrel and gasoline cost $1.10 a gallon … this Fourth of July weekend, gasoline averaged $4.10 a gallon nationwide, with oil hovering around $145 a barrel. – Wow, that puts it in perspective. – Gary Bacon II

I read an article before which said at $4/gallon, every 5 MPH over 60 MPH essentially adds 20 cents to the price of gas. – Scott Watermasysk

Funny thread comment re: the constitution in there. I can hear Jimmy Carter’s energy crisis speech now…"by 1981 this nation will be free of it’s dependence on foreign oil…" Er, I think not. – BISQ

In the words of Sammy Haggar, I can’t drive 55.alanoakes

Is 55 some magic number? None of the changes in engine technology or whatever in the past 30 years affects that point of efficiency? Just curious and a little surprised. – felix

Want some real perspective? My 2000 Pontiac Grand Am averaged 26 MPG. The Model A Ford… 26 MPG. Figure that one out. – Brian Norwood

55 is actually a magic number, felix. Actually 60mph. In wind tunnel tests, most cars’ fuel efficiency drops off severely over 60mph. – J. Phil

The national speed limit was repealed in 1995 because the US House was controlled by Republicans for the first time since 1954. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U…Christian Burns

Wasn’t this tried once before? What was the result then? – Brian Sullivan

I’ll raise you one fail whale that it is. A lot of the issues (beyond the obvious) have to do with how inefficient start/stop driving is. – Steve Spalding

As I recall it was accompanied by price controls and the result was gas shortages and no re-election. 😀 – Hal Rottenberg via twhirl

I’m not opposed to it…but we might as well make it 90 km/h since so many signs would need to be changed. – Thomas Lopez Jr

I’m opposed to it because I’m not a fan of big brother now big mother style of government. what’s next? perhaps one car per household? – Hal Rottenberg via twhirl

I think the best gas saver would be huge incentives for companies to allow workers to telecommute. And 4 10-hour days for workers who can not. Both of those would seriously decrease the demand of gas and should eventually run the price down. – Tad Donaghe

I vote for the 4 10 hour days, And yes I remember 55 MPH everywhere. I spent 6 years of my life driving to places that I will never get back But even now I think about the gas tank when I go over 65 mph here. – Earl E Morningwood

Agree with Tad – four day week and lots more telecommuting would both help a lot. Always baffles me why telecommuting still seems to have so little support. – Patrick Jordan

Agree with Hal…I believe voluntary interactions provide solutions much quicker and more efficiently than arbitrary "mandates." – Chris Rossini

Lower speed limits will make me use more gas. Slowing down from 80 to 55 every time I see a cop and then speeding back up to 80 again takes more gas than just driving 80. And for those who say 80 is too fast, move to Atlanta and try to drive slower. – Adam

I’m sure the national speed limit saved some gas. It was also a bonanza for law enforcement and we all hated it. Wanna save gas? Send everyone a coupon worth $500 at their local bicycle store. Wanna mandate something? Start with bike lanes. – Chris Baskind

@Adam Brilliant – my best laugh of the day. – Kevin Shannon

how about a large initiative to fix rail lines across the country. – David Weiner

@Adam HAH! That’s exactly my speed limit as well. They may as well just change all the signs and let the cops do something useful elsewhere. – Rahsheen Porter

Rail and bicycles…that’d fail here in Atlanta (hi Adam). My commute is 26 miles, and so is almost everybody else’s. – Hal Rottenberg via twhirl

Changing the law to change people’s habits is retarded. The government has no business whatsoever meddling in how we drive other than to make sure we are driving safely. Once gas hit ~ $3.75 a gallon I started driving 60 mph most of the time. I don’t need the federal government changing laws to tell me I can save money that way. Smart people just know it and the ones that can afford the usage should be allowed to. – Richard Miles

Just from watching the consumption screen, the Prius gets the best mileage between 55 & 60. – Mike Cohen

Do you think implementing a Federal 55 mph speed limit is the answer to saving gas? What other methods are there to truly make a nationwide difference? Let’s hear your thoughts.

Are you Worried about the Gas Crisis?

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On June 9th, the National average for gas prices per gallon hit the $4.00 mark. This all-time high came as no surprise to most of us. Does this concern you? Are you worried about the gas crisis? Bloggers on Lockergnome have been discussing this for several weeks. Let’s look at what some of them have had to say.

Around where I live it is starting to look like a used car lot. By the shopping centers you immediately notice the Suburbans, Pick up trucks and other gas guzzlers with for sale signs affixed. Pricing is surprisingly low for these road warriors that guzzle gas like an alcoholic guzzles booze. Rumor has it that the car dealers don’t want the big boys unless they come with their own oil well.

Not only has the cost of car gasoline hiked up, everything has hiked up as a result. Food is more expensive. Utilities are more expensive. The price of everything is climbing, and many people are barely keeping their heads above water financially. Many more have already sunk, before they really even had a chance to grab for a life jacket.

One of my clients called with a computer problem that I determined to be a hard disk failure. I gave them a price for a new hard disk plus my labor and waited for their decision. I got a call stating that they would have to wait for the repair, since the price of gas and food was cutting into their budget.

I won’t even bother to ask if the gas crisis is hitting you where it hurts. I know it is. It’s affecting us all. What are your thoughts and comments about the alarming rate the economy is slowing down, prices are continuing to climb, and the job market is staying the same?


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What's Cheaper than a Gallon of Gas?

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I was sitting here chatting with the people in my chat room when Ponzi called me with a pretty cool discovery that I thought you all would find interesting. She was calling me from BestBuy, as she was walking past the aisle that has all of the flash drives.

She noticed that a 128 MB flash drive was priced at $3.99. She couldn’t believe it since a gallon of gas in Seattle is currently $4.07 for the lowest octane. She was shocked that a flash drive cost less than a gallon of gasoline.

It got me thinking what else costs less than a gallon of gas here in the US right now. Even here in Iowa where I’m visiting my parents right now, the cost per gallon is high as well. I’m interested though, in hearing about things that you would never expect to be less than a gallon of gas… especially tech-related things. This is my challenge to you: Find me things that cost less than one single gallon of gasoline… or even less than one tank filling. Let’s try to come up with things that you wouldn’t expect to be cheaper, and would surprise us all.


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Alternative Fuel and Hybrid Modifications: Water4Gas?

Stephen of Ohio (that’s what he calls himself) sent me this message earlier today, no doubt in relation to my recent posts on the high cost of gas here in the United States:

Now we all know that Ethanol is not going to take the market for fuel, hydrogen is somewhat promising, but how about improving your current vehicles gas mileage by using hydrogen in it’s most basic and readily available state: water.

I’ve done some research after I discovered water4gas. Water4Gas is a collection of 2 e-books that are only available online so they can be updated with new discoveries. I took the liberty of googling some info I found on it and actually stumbled upon a url that you don’t have to pay the $97 to read… just google “A-744 water4gas” and you’ll walk into the fuel heater section.

I have seen it on TV and also came across it in another google search “water4gas scam”. This gave me a mechanics site that included a video of the unit on a ford escort. He drove 32 miles and put just over a half a gallon in the car. Giving it about 60 miles to the gallon.

That is when I bought the book.

But you don’t necessarily have to, since he continues to give a synopsis of the tome:

You use a mason jar to construct an electrolizer. Electrolysis is the process on changing water to hydrogen and oxygen that has been around for over a century. I consulted a Physics teacher about this to make sure it wasn’t BS and I was greatly surprised when he saw the unit. Before I could tell him what it was, he told me. This gave me some confidence on the subject.

After the electrolizer is constructed you put it inside your vehicle. It has a positive and negative battery terminal hook-ups and 2 vacuum outputs that need to be hooked up. For safety they recommend a tap into an existing power line in the wiring harness. There is a fuse in this line to prevent unsafe operation. The vacuum tubes are connected to a line to the intake manifold as well as the air filter.

Inside the electrolizer is water as well as a catalyst: Baking Soda. Only 1 teaspoon per Jar. When the vehicle is turned on the electrolysis takes place pumping hydrogen and oxygen into the cylinders. Hydrogen is 3 times more potent than gas so even a slight amount will increase the explosion, meaning you need less gas overall.

If this catches your interest go ahead and make a video on it, but make sure to do a bit of research because I don’t think I explained it very well.

It captures my attention, but I just don’t know how practical it is. Wouldn’t know where to begin research, either – other than trying it myself (and likely losing a few fingers in the process). Long story short: don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. 🙂

What Are You Paying for Gas?

How high do gas prices have to get before you change your own driving habits, if you haven’t already? I thought, for certain, that there would be less vehicles on the road after gas hit $4 a gallon here in the United States (at least, in the Seattle area). Seems to me that even when we see $6 a gallon, people aren’t going to travel less than they already do today. No matter where you are on the planet, gas isn’t very cheap. There’s little you can do to avoid wallet pain at the pump, though.

Can you top this?!?

It’s times like these that I’m glad I work from home (for myself, no less). I don’t have to fight traffic with regularity, and I don’t have to fill up my gas tank as frequently as others do. But have these higher fuel rates already curbed your own travel routines? I’m guessing “not.”

We can’t just sit at home, and public transportation is not always practical… so what are we supposed to do?

That’s what I’m paying now. What about you?

How Much is Gas in your Part of the World?

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Garthman03 writes: “I have worked in the Automotive industry for the better part of a decade, and am always looking for ways to save money to spend on gadgets. With gasoline being the biggest economic cruncher right now, I’ve made a list of ways to save money on gas.”

  • Avoid hard braking and accelerating (free) “Hurry up and wait” should not be a part of your normal driving lifestyle. Sure, there are times when you need to get somewhere in a hurry. But normally, you should give yourself enough time to get where you are going. So, take that time and you’ll find that you could save a whopping 20% on your fuel consumption.
  • Keep tires properly Inflated ($2 or less) I know it sounds like common sense to have the right amount of air pressure in your tires, but you would be surprised by the number of vehicles I work on that have too low or too high pressure in their tires. Make an investment of under two dollars, and buy a tire gauge. A properly inflated tire can increase fuel economy by 2-3%. A good rule is to check your tires every time you fill up, and before long trips. Be sure to check them before you’re on the road for too long, as heat caused by friction between your tires and the road causes the air to expand, and give a false reading. Also, go by the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle. This can be found either in your owner’s manual, or on a tire placard in the driver’s door.
  • Unless your vehicle calls for top grade gasoline, use the cheap stuff and supplement with gas treatment ($3 or less) Many people think that the more expensive grade of gasoline yields better fuel economy. While this might be true for some vehicles, there is a much more cost efficient way to get the same effect. The cost difference between regular and premium unleaded at my local station is around forty cents. This ends up being a difference of six dollars on an average fifteen gallon tank!! Use regular unleaded gas, and buy a bottle of gas treatment. This will give you back the fuel economy, while at the same time reducing the pollution that your car gives off in exhaust, protecting the environment.
  • Change your air ($5-15) and fuel filter($25) Imagine yourself being dehydrated, tying a scarf tightly around your neck, and running one mile. Now, take the scarf off, drink all the water you can, and do it again. No doubt that the second mile will be easier that the first. You have the oxygen and fluids that you body needs to perform. The same holds true for your car’s engine. Your car needs to breathe, and cannot do so with a dirty, clogged air filter. Replacing your dirty air filter can increase your fuel economy by up to 10%. And having a clean fuel filter isn’t just saving around 5%, it can also prevent a fuel pump going out. And if you have ever had that happen, you know how painful that can be.
  • Use FIC’s (fuel injection cleaners) every time you change your oil ($5) This tip kind of ties in with air and fuel filters, but I believe is important enough to get it’s own bullet. Fuel injectors can clog up over time, causing them to not get the proper air/fuel ratio for the best fuel economy. Using FIC’s is a cheap way to keep fuel injection systems clean and running smoothly. The difference between a clogged fuel injector and a clean one can be up to 6%.

“With these tips, you are able to save up to 44% or more!! At $3.00 per gallon average, and driving 15,000 miles a year… that’s over $800 a year in savings! If you follow my tips and spend about $50 during the year on preventative maintenance… you could end up with an extra $750 a year! Think of all the gadgets you could buy!”


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Energy Efficient Cars: What you Don't Know

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Bad Bad Leroy Dan had to call me to interrupt a video I was trying to do on saving energy. You know I had to record it when he started saying that our Government is not allowing us to save energy. There are six cars built in America that get more than 35 miles per gallon… but Americans are not allowed to buy them. They are all exported right out of the country.

One of the keys to restarting the American economy is staring us in the face. While our future hinges on the rapid adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles, our government stands in the way of a rapid free market solution. 35 MPG can be an immediate reality, with one domestic manufacturer, if the United States government would only allow it to happen. Our elected representatives need to be aware of the facts and make the appropriate decisions.

All-in-all, a dozen Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep diesel-engined models are currently available outside of the United States, but are not sold domestically. Here’s the eye-opener … half of those models currently achieve 35 miles per gallon combined. That’s 35 MPG … right now. And what’s even more crazy? All of these 35 MPG cars and SUVs are built in North American plants by North American workers … American citizens cannot buy and drive the fuel-efficient cars they build.

Because these vehicles use Diesel fuel, they don’t pass the Emissions standards. Therefore, even though Americans make these vehicles and could really benefit from the mileage these get… we can’t buy them.

What if the federal government temporarily rolled back the emissions requirements for one or two years, to allow the sale of these fuel-sipping vehicles while Chrysler and its partners complete the engineering necessary to meet the current regulations?


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