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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yet more alternatives to buying a Harley Davidson motorcycle- Triumph and Norton- Rule Britannia!

I'll say it again: Harley Davidson makes a fantastic product and satisfies the motorcycle itch of millions of happy owners. Nothing in this world sounds or rides like a Harley. For some, that's just the issue. Not everyone want to be like...well, everyone. For many motorcyclists, it's the unusual that revs their engine.

In an earlier post, I detailed three American-made non-Harley alternatives and the topic proved to be quite popular with the readers. So I rooted around and found two more lesser known makers of fine motorcycles, this time from across the pond. I purposely avoided the Japanese makers not because of any bias, but to find something less common for those who like to be less common.

The two cycles come to America via the United Kingdom. Both Norton and Triumph are legendary marques with a lineage that goes back decades. For both, the business histories of each company have been touch and go with periods of factory shutdowns and no production. But it's hard to keep a good brand down and it was but a matter of time before someone came along to ressurect these classic makers and offer their models to the former colonies across the Atlantic.
A brand-new classic Triumph
(source: Triumph)
Triumph offers a full range of cycles from full-zoot racer bikes as futuristic as any other maker, all the way to classic remakes like the Bonneville that harks back to the classic models of postwar America and the UK when former soldiers zoomed all over creation. Now, you can do the same with state of the art construction, space-age materials and a factory warranty. Triumphs's website has all the info right here, including the dozens of US locations you can buy the Triumph and be the triumph of your neighborhood.

The Norton: modern muscle, classic lines.
(source: Norton)
Norton also makes motorbikes that start with an English accent. Beautiful to behold and even better to ride, the Norton was known (and still is) for its sporty ride and ability to hug the road. In its day, the Norton was the musclecar of musclebikes and everyone who had a chip on their shoulders or a mid-life crisis to satisfy was putting a Norton in their suburban garage. The bad news is current Norton dealerships are tough to find, but if you're one of those people that has to have something no one else has, the Norton is that something. Here's the website- good luck finding the dealerships!

So, if our good friends across the pond can take all the trouble the build these classics for our use, the least we can do is to help them out by purchasing a few...or a few thousand.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apple Siri- You talk, Siri answers and does your bidding, but only on the Apple iPhone4S

Siri's mic means your life just got easier.
(source: Apple)
As most of us know, the Apple iPhone4S was met by tech fans with a resounding "so what?".

In truth, the iPhone4S is really sort of a iPhone4 1/2. While the phone is faster and a little better in a number of ways- better camera, faster processor, battery upgrade, etc. the real talk centers around a bit of software that make life with the iPhone4S easier to use than ever and it's called Siri.

Simply press a new microphone icon on the iPhone screen and Siri "wakes up" with a friendly beep. The real magic lies in the user's ability to ask Siri nearly anything in normal speech (no keywords or special language required) and Siri responds with the requested items.

For instance, you might say, "Siri, text my wife I'll be ten minutes late" and Siri will automatically write your message, attach your wife's cell phone number and send that message to your spouse without having to lift a finger- literally!

Or...tell Siri "I'm hungry for Indian food" and it will find the nearest Indian restaurant based on information from the iPhone's GPS and database of local businesses.

Or...If you have a hankering for some good music, you can say "Siri, play Tony Bennett" and, you guessed it, Siri plays your request.

You get the idea. Think of Siri like a kind-of verbal butler who listens to everything you have to say and does it immediately.

As the father of three kids, anyone who listens to me is ok in my humble opinion. Apple thinks so too and has all of the info on Siri located right here.