TechTexts: Negative review of Tesla S comes down to he-said, car-said

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New York Times writer John Broder and Elon Musk, CEO of the electric car company Tesla, have been having a public kerfuffle over a test drive of the Tesla S, a plug-in sports car.

Mr. Broder said he ran out of charge during the drive and had to have the car towed to the next charging station, challenging Tesla's range claims.

Mr. Musk, revealing that Tesla records all kinds of information from a car during media tests, said Mr. Broder did not follow instructions and did not tell the truth in his review. Mr. Broder fired back that he was in touch with Tesla employees during the drive to be sure he was doing things correctly.

The latest salvo in the war is that CNN and Tesla owners have re-created the drive with more positive results.

Speaking of cars, Ford showed its 2013 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid at the Pittsburgh International Auto Show, which ended Monday at the David Lawrence Convention Center.

The Fusion Energi was voted the Connected Car of the Year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month.

In addition to Ford Sync and MyFord Touch, which allow control of certain features by voice, there is an app that allows owners to connect with the car on the Internet.

From a phone or tablet, you can do things, such as remotely lock/unlock doors, use the built-in GPS system to locate the car, see the current charge level of the battery and remotely use the grid power to heat or cool the interior.

The car also has a number of high-tech safety features that keep you from drifting out of your lane, show what is in blind spots, help you parallel park, adapt your cruise control to keep you a safe distance from the car in front of you, warn of a pending collision and show you on a camera what is behind you.

The most important part of a new connected car: the manual.

The meteorite that exploded over Russia last week raised the question: How could there be so many videos of the event?

The Washington Post offered the answer. Roads in Russia are so bad, there is so much insurance fraud and the traffic police are so corrupt that in a traffic case, judges often will only accept video as evidence.

Thus most people have dashboard cameras, which are available fairly cheaply in Russia.

Geek word of the week: Air gapping -- protecting your network from cyberattack by removing its connectivity to the Internet.

Texting abbreviation of the week: AAK -- Asleep At Keyboard

Tip of the week (revisited): An alert reader pointed out an omission in last week's tip that right clicking on a browser tab presents you with a menu of actions. I went wrong in saying that it doesn't work on the Mac because there is no right clicking on the Mac.

That was correct if you are using a conventional mouse, as I do.

But the reader pointed out, "You can right-click on a Mac if you have a mouse with multiple buttons. Or if you are on a laptop or using a Magic Trackpad, hold two fingers down and click with a third (or a thumb). And your tip does work on a Mac."

I hauled out the track pad and the reader is correct. Thank goodness for readers to keep TechMan on the straight and narrow.

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Please send comments, corrections, praise or condemnation to pgtechtexts@gmail.com.


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