Government powers at work

Uwe Gemballa’s killer has been arrested and sentenced to 20 years behind bars, according to The Times Live.

In what has been a story that has featured so many twists and turns, the latest development comes in the arrest of 28-year-old Thabiso Mpshe of Pretoria for his involvement in the murder of Uwe Gemballa . Mpshe was arrested last Friday before being sentenced to 20 years in prison in a Johannesburg high court later in the afternoon, a dizzying sequence of events that has taken this saga to new heights. Police spokesman Colonel Vishnu Naidoo was "not at liberty to say" if Mpshe had plead guilty or if a deal was struck, but something fishy is going on for this arrest, trial, and sentencing all to be done in a mere 24 hours.

Despite the arrest being made, the authorities are still in the dark as to how Gemballa was murdered adding even more questions to this bizarre story. According to police spokesman Colonel Vishnu Naidoo, “it is still unclear how Gemballa was murdered, but indications are that he was suffocated. He had no visible injuries.”

Meanwhile, Uwe Gemballa ’s body is on its way back to Germany, according to Martin Schaefer, spokesman for the German consulate in South Africa. "The corpse is being flown to his home,” he said. “We have offered our consular services in terms of issuing official documents for customs and the like."

The arrest and subsequent conviction of Mpshe is the latest twist in a saga that has had more plots and turns than a mystery thriller novel. From the looks of things, we’re thinking that this won’t be the last news we’re going to hear regarding the murder of Uwe Gemballa. The whole secretive nature of this arrest and conviction only lead us to believe that authorities are on to something, and on to something big. Why else would such a high profile situation get pushed under the rug so quickly?

Source: Times Live
Posted on by Bryan 2

Slogans such as "fifteen minutes can save you fifteen percent on auto insurance", Flo and her Progressive shop, and the long haired man who talks about State Farm are just a few of the many automotive insurance companies that are after your business, so in order to find the right company for you it’s going to take some serious work.

It seems that too many people are listening to the commercials they see on television and basing their opinions on what the little characters have to say. We understand that shopping for car insurance is pretty dull, but it’s something that needs to be done in order to ensure that you and your car are protected in the event of an accident.

Automotive insurance is one of the most important things in the auto world because, let’s face it, there are plenty of drivers out there that don’t need to be on the road, and when they hit your car, you better be covered.

Hit the jump for our tips of buying car insurance.

Posted on by Bryan 7

California, a state that once tried to ban Happy Meals from McDonalds, has decided to take on distracted drivers. The state has proposed a regulation that would ban drivers from all types of cell phone use.

"GHSA supports a total ban of cell phone use (hands free and hand held) and text messaging for all drivers," the resolution obtained by The Detroit News says.

"GHSA also supports a ban on electronic devices used for entertainment purposes with video screens that are within view of the driver and a ban for school bus drivers on text messaging or using electronic devices except in emergencies."

If you read that correctly, it basically means that if you own a new Ford and live the Golden State, then the wonderful Sync system could put you in jeopardy. We all know that states have been cracking down on cell phone use, but hands free systems never seemed to be an issue. Needless to say, the automakers are a bit unhappy.

"We support state laws that ban texting or calling while driving if a driver’s using a hand-held device. But we realize people are going to have conversations, read maps and directions, and listen to music while they drive. Automakers have worked to make sure this can be done while still maintaining focus on the road," spokesman Wade Newton said to the Detroit News.

If this law does pass, it should be interesting to see how systems like Sync and OnStar will adapt.

Posted on by Bryan 2

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, has long been known for its street rods, customs, and replicas that are rarely seen on the roads of America. These are more like parade vehicles that are shown at exhibitions and, well, parades.

With these modified vehicles roaming the streets, state government had to find a way to make money off of them. Numerous states, including Washington, Florida, North Carolina, and California have enacted the SEMA-bill and now, Massachusetts joined the party.

Governor Deval Patrick signed the law in the legislation that will create a vehicle registration classification for these special vehicles. The new law will set parameters of what street roads, replica vehicles, specially constructed vehicles, and custom vehicles are.

“After 5-years of working with the legislature on various iterations of this bill, we are extremely grateful to State Representative Carolyn Dykema, in addition to Representative Brian Dempsey, Representative Joseph Wagner, Representative Charles Murphy and Senator Steven Baddour and their staffs for taking it over the last hurdle,” said SEMA VP of Government Affairs, Steve McDonald.

A benefit of this new law is that these vehicles are now exempt from emission inspections. That being said, specially constructed vehicles and replicas built after April 30, 2012 will be subject to emission requirements.

“This new law simply recognizes the immeasurable amount of time, money and attention automotive hobbyists invest in their cars. For many vehicle enthusiasts in Massachusetts and throughout America, building, maintaining and enjoying their vehicles is a favorite pastime. This new law represents an opportunity to acknowledge their commitment to the hobby and to protect it for future generations,” said McDonald.

We’re guessing this isn’t the kind of start Suzuki was expecting with their new Kizashi sedan. Barely a year after the car was launched; it’s already facing its first recall issues. Not good. Not good, at all.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 5,701 Kizashi sedans – those that were manufactured from October 13, 2009 through May 31, 2010 - are poised to be recalled over issues with the center-lower glove box on the dashboard, which as it turns out, may open in the event of a crash possibly causing a potentially serious injury if it hits any of the front passengers.

The Kizashi recall is expected to begin sometime in the middle of July at which time Suzuki will be replacing the part in question at no cost to the car owners. In the event that you have a Kizashi sitting in your garage all nice and new, you might want to err on the side of caution and give Suzuki a call at 1-714-996-7040.

Source: NHTSA
Posted on by Alexander + 12
Fifteen cats in your car may be a distraction

Okay, listen, we are animal lovers just like everyone else, but this may be a tad too ridiculous for us and, hopefully, many other people. Yes, our hearts go out to the animals featured in the tearful Sarah McLachlan/ASPCA commercial, but Patricia Edwards and her cat-infested automobile is just plain wrong.

The reason we say Edwards’ vehicle was cat-infested is because the woman had fifteen - yes fifteen - cats in her vehicle as she attempted to back out of a parking spot at a convenience store in Pierre, South Dakota. This scenario wouldn’t be a big deal unless, of course, Edwards hadn’t almost backed into a police cruiser in her attempt to see around the furry creatures.

The police officer, who was almost backed into by the feline-loving woman, immediately seized the cats in an effort to stop Edwards from driving with such a distraction.

The courts, thankfully, ruled against Edwards and her cats who were deemed "a distraction and interfered with driver Patricia Edwards’ ability to see where she was going." A distraction. No shit, Sherlock.

Seriously, can this get any more ridiculous? If it can, we’d love to hear your stories!

It’s such a good idea that we started thinking why no one has ever thought of it before. That or maybe someone did think about it, but didn’t go past the thinking stage to the actual doing stage. Guess that dude probably cost himself a lot of money.

In any case, Yanko Design’s new Uni-Signal is taking traffic lights and turning them into something that could be of more use, especially to those who are color-blind. So instead of seeing merely colors to determine when to stop or go in a busy intersection, why not put some shapes into it so that those suffering from color blindness won’t have a difficult time determining whether they’re free to go or whether they should stop. In their example, the Uni-Signal incorporates a triangle shape/red color for stop, a circular shape/amber color for stay, and a square shape/green color for go. It’s a great idea, although, we do have one suggestion.

Keeping in with the universal connotations of certain shapes, we suggest that they make the red/stop sign square-shaped, similar to how remote controls have a square sign to connotate stop. As for the yellow/stay sign, that ought to be the triangle - matter of fact, turn it upside down so its similar to the ’yield’ sign, which in essence is pretty much what the yellow light is for - and the green should remain circular because, well, triangle and square have already been accounted for.

Source: Yanko Design
Posted on by Alexander + 13
Ten stupid car laws

Okay, not to poke fun at the government or the people involved, but poke, poke, poke. We have done some research to come up with some ridiculous laws involving automobiles. Be it vehicular sex, color choices, or weird orders, these laws just don’t make any sense.

Why do these strange laws exist? Well, typically these laws were created due to some issue that existed back in the day. Why can’t you hunt on Sundays? Well, back when religion was a part of life instead of just a passing trend, laws were created to encourage people to attend church on Sundays. Why can’t you flag down a taxi in London if you have the plague? Okay, the reason behind that one is obvious, but the plague is entirely irrelevant in this day and age.

Are all of these ridiculous laws followed? Of course not. Some may have been taken out of law books and others may just not be reinforced, but all are a hilarious way to spend a few minutes of one’s time. Feel free to tell us some of the stupid laws you’ve encountered.

Hit the jump to partake in some good old-fashioned rib-tickling laws.

If you’ve been licking your chops at the thought of purchasing the new Chevrolet Volt when it drops into dealerships at the latter part of the year, you might want to hear about this new incentive that could possibly even expedite your purchase of the electric car.

It’s been announced that the US Department of Energy would be handing out free 240-volt home chargers for 4,400 of the Volt’s early buyers. The early bird does get the worm, or in this case, the home charger. Manufactured by either ECOtality or Coulomb Technologies, these chargers will be made available by the DOE for prospective owners of the new Volt at an absolute bargain of a price. We don’t know what the price tag is, but Tony DiSalle, the Volt’s product and marketing director, says that "For Volt owners who want to install a faster 240-volt charge station, we expect the Department of Energy project to save $1,000 and $2,000". Taking into consideration the rumored price tag of these chargers - somewhere around $2,000, give or take - then you can expect a lot of interested buyers to save somewhere north of 50% with these chargers.

However, it should be noted that the DOE’s generosity comes with a price tag - albeit a metaphorical one, of course - of its own. If you partake on the DOE’s offer, you’re going to have to sign off on an agreement that lets the government agency collect the necessary information to help them understand the requirements and necessities better, as well as the pros and cons of seeing more electric cars on the road in the future.

Some might call it a double-edged sword as it pertains to a government agency keeping tabs on consumers, but as far as we’re concerned, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal, especially if they can help you save as much as $2,000 for any one of those home chargers.

Press Release after the jump

Source: Chevrolet

New Yorker James Allan parks his car in front of his house everyday and, for 13 years, he hasn’t encountered any problems with it. So what makes this story interesting?

Well, Allan returned home one day and found a $60 parking ticket slapped on his windshield because he parked in front of a "No Parking" sign. What? How can he park his car in the same spot for 13 years and only get a parking ticket today? The answer, of course, lies somewhere between the lines. Last Monday, the local Department of Transportation installed a "No Parking At Any Time" sign right next to Allan’s car and promptly gave it a ticket. That’s right. The car was there at the same spot it has always been for the last 13 years and when the DoT planted the sign, they gave Allan a ticket. When James got home from work, he discovered the newly-erected sign and, much to his shock, a corresponding ticket for his "violation".

Predictably, James will be contesting the ticket in court. "I’m not paying $60 for a sign that wasn’t there," he said. We’re with you on this one, buddy. In fact, if we were in his shoes, we’d be contesting the ticket, too.

Source: SI Live

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