Saturday, July 21, 2007

TSA To Lift Ban On Most Lighters On Planes

(AP) Airline passengers will be able to bring many types of cigarette lighters on board flights again starting next month, as federal authorities found a two-year-old ban on the devices did little to make flying safer, a newspaper reported Friday.

"Taking lighters away is security theater," Transportation Security Administration chief Kip Hawley told The New York Times in an interview Thursday.

Starting August 4th, air travelers will be allowed to carry on disposable butane lighters, such as Bics, and refillable lighters, including Zippos/Dupoint/etc, according to the Times. A prohibition on torch-style lighters, which have hotter flames, will continue.

Security screeners now collect an average of 22,000 lighters a day, and it costs about $4 million a year to dispose of them, the Times reported. "The United States previously had been the only nation in the world to prohibit lighters from carry-ons," the TSA wrote in a press release. "Lifting this ban is another step in our efforts to harmonize security measures with international partners."

Hawley said confiscating lighters hasn't meant much for security, as other items could be used to detonate bombs. "The No. 1 threat for us is someone trying to bring bomb components through the security checkpoint," the TSA administrator said. "We don't want anything that distracts concentration from searching for that."

Well wasn't it about time? What else do us cigar smokers have to bare with with almost a total indoor ban on smoking? At least now I can travel with my trusty Dupoint's on me & continoue lighting up my Habanos (of course outdoors or few places where it is still allowed) in style.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Simulated BMW M3 Ride: Bmw's Press Event

It appears BMW is outfitting their new BMW M3 with racing software (which somewhat resembles the famed “Gran Turismo” game released by Sony Entertainment), a projector which displays the driving view on the BMW M3 windshield, and a real-time interaction between the game and the car. As one can see from the video, the driver shifts the M3 and the game software responds to each shift. Additionally the car also interacts with the environment by moving up and down the suspension when the driver encounters certain obstacles.

Although testing the new M3 in the real world environment is what I would prefer this definitely has to be the next best thing. No word yet on whether these simulators will be popping up across dealerships.

[Source: Auto Spies]

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New BMW 1 Series Coupe

Set for US release in Spring 2008, the 1 Series Coupe will be available in 2 versions -- 128i and the 135i. The former will be powered by a 3.0-liter, 230 horsepower inline 6-cyinder engine that generates 200 lb-ft of torque, the 135i will be powered by BMW's twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower and an incredible 300 lb-ft of torque from as low as 1,400 rpmm, as an added bonus the M Aerodynamic Kit is standard.

Daily thoughts, musings & interests about anything (mostly horology) that currently makes my soul & grey matter tick.