Recent Articles By Chuck La Tournous [RSS]

‘Automatic’ Connects Your iPhone to Your Car to Make You a Smarter Driver

1:30 PM, Dec. 2nd, 2013 · Chuck La Tournous · In-Depth Review

Review of Automatic for iOS

Automatic is a gadget with a companion iOS app that gives just about any car built since 1996 advanced features, including some that even address the "nut behind the wheel." Contributing Editor Chuck La Tournous takes Automatic out for a spin and comes back impressed with its style, fuel-saving behavior modification, and the ability to answer that age-old question: "Does anybody remember where we parked?"

iRig Pro: An Impressive ‘All-in-One’ Audio Interface That Earns Its Clichés

12:10 PM, Oct. 14th, 2013 · Chuck La Tournous · In-Depth Review

IK Multimedia's iRig Pro -- the newest entry into the increasingly crowded audio input field -- seeks to set itself apart from the pack with its versatility and ease of use. Contributing Editor Chuck La Tournous leaves no cliché unturned as he cuts to the chase to see if this acorn fell far from the iRig tree or if it's a jack of all trades and master of none.

Automatic Pairs Your Car & iPhone with OnStar-like Features

1:11 PM, May. 2nd, 2013 · Chuck La Tournous · Cool Stuff Found

Regret not ponying up for that OnStar subscription for your last car? A startup called Automatic promises to provide most of those features (and a few extra) with an iPhone app and a hardware dongle that plugs into your car's data port. The device performs diagnostics, lets you turn off your "Service Engine" light, provides fuel-saving tips based on your driving habits, remembers where you park and where you drove, calls for help in an accident, and more. The device (expected to ship in August) costs a one-time fee of US$69 and connects to a companion iPhone app via Bluetooth. An Android version is planned, but Windows Phone and Blackberry users are out of luck. The company says it works with virtually every gasoline-powered car sold in the U.S. since 1996. If Automatic lives up to its promise, it could be huge.

iPhone + SPOT Connect Delivers Peace of Mind—via Satellite

2:10 PM, Jan. 10th, 2013 · Chuck La Tournous · In-Depth Review

SPOT Connect

As any good scout will tell you, the best way out of a bad situation is to be prepared. But how do you call for help if your adventures take you beyond the reach of the nearest cell tower? As Contributing Editor Chuck La Tournous discovered, a company called SPOT offers a clever way of combining the reach of a satellite communicator with the power of your smartphone. And it might just save your life.

About those Apple Genius Ads

10:40 AM, Jul. 30th, 2012 · Chuck La Tournous · Analysis

The new Mac commercials aren’t cool; they’re not “Steve” ads; and Chuck La Tournous doesn’t like them. But they may be appeal to “non-Apple” folks, and if that works, that’s fine. They’re also the first Mac-rather-than-iOS-device-ads he’s seen since the “I’m a Mac” spots, and he thinks that makes them a good thing.