You are here

September 2006

Electronic Stability Control: Terrific but Learn How to Use It

On Thursday, September 14, 2006 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a proposed rule that will require Electronic Stability Control on all passenger vehicles in the United States by 2012. This was immediately hailed in some quarters as, “the greatest safety advantage since seat belts.” That’s a nice thought, but it isn’t true. Electronic stability control won’t help in alcohol related accidents, and driver training is needed realize the potential safety improvement offered by stability control systems. Reliable statistics are difficult to obtain, but by most estimates are that nearly half of traffic fatalities are related to alcohol consumption. Electronic Stability Control will not prevent fatalities cause by drunk drivers. Seat belts will - up to a point. Even seat belts won’t help much in a 90mph head-on. Electronic Stability Control won’t increase driver awareness or judgment.

Many drivers are unable to take advantage of the potential improvement in safety offered today by ABS. (Anti-Lock Braking Systems). ABS should be a good thing. It brakes a car more efficiently than locked wheels would, decreasing stopping distances; and it maintains steering control. But there is evidence that ABS increases the severity of some crashes. When a typical driver sees a crash coming, the driver does two things: hits the brakes as hard as possible and throws the steering wheel hard-over to steer away from the anticipated crash.

Samsung 7 & 10 MP Cameras

Today Samsung announced two new "S" Series cameras for their Premium Digimax line. The two cameras, a 7MP S700 and a 10MP S1000, feature a 2.4" LCD and 3x optical zoom.

These two cameras also support MPEG-4, and the S1000 can record over an hour of VGA video at 30fps with a 256MB card. Samsung has also enabled movie editing functions with these two lines, making it easy to playback or save parts of movie clips to be saved as still images.

Like other digital cameras, these models include 7 scene modes, for automatic shooting, as well as a "Special Effects" mode for the more creative user. Some of the special effects include Sepia, color filters, black and white, photo frames, and composite shots, which allow a user to take 2 - 4 images and combine them into one file.

The Digimax S700 retails for $250 and the Digimax S1000 retails for $350. Both will be available in August.

With this announcement, it looks like Samsung is helping consumer cameras become closer and closer to the amateur professional range.

Twitter