California first to get electronic license plates? Easier to track?

Yes, sort of an iPad on your car's rear.

(Credit: KCRA-TV screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

California is the home of everything that’s new, exciting, and, well, accidentally nefarious.

It’s a delight, therefore, to hear that we here in the Golden State might be the first to get electronic license plates.

Yes, the young and the restless of tech will be able to have their new “TE$ LA1” plate beamed directly to their car.

What could be more moving? I am beaming at Ars Technica for discovering that a bill has passed the California State Senate, allowing for a pilot program to launch the scheme.

If the Governor signs the bill, 0.5 percent of Californians might enjoy this perk quite soon.

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They can look forward to rolling down their beautiful hills and having the word “EXPIRED” suddenly appear on their backside. (The car’s, that is.)

What fun it will be to see Ferraris with the word “STOLEN” — or Priuses with the word “TASTELESS.”

Actually, I’m not sure that last one will be an option. Even so, the sheer instancy and convenience will fascinate many.

More Technically Incorrect

Hot Wheels car races down world’s highest wall track

Apparently, Hot Wheels cars don't suffer from vertigo.

(Credit: Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET)

A blue Hot Wheels toy car sporting the number “01” went where no Hot Wheels has gone before. It got to take a dramatic plunge down what the toy car company is calling “the world’s highest wall track.”

The track was rigged up to go on the side of an apartment building. It’s hard to tell exactly how high the track is, but it certainly looks like it could claim the record.

The impressive car drop took place during the BCN Fan Fest, an event devoted to Formula 1 racing, in Barcelona earlier this year, but the making-of video was just recently released.

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The track builders put the contraption together on the ground and then hoisted it up the side of the building in large pieces that c… [Read more]

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Track your steps, sleep with Fitbit Flex wristband

(Credit: Tim Hornyak/CNET)

LAS VEGAS–Who doesn’t need a little more exercise? Fitbit wants to push you to get more active with its Flex wristband, shown off at CES 2013.

It’s a colorful pedometer that monitors how far you walk every day, as well as your time spent sleeping or tossing and turning.

The Flex can track steps, distance, calories, and how many minutes you’ve been active. It also has a silent alarm to wake you up.

You can also set daily goals, which a reflected in flashing LEDs on the water-resistant wristband. As you progress toward your daily goal, more lights flash.

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Known for its wireless clip-on activity tracker, Fitbit integrated wireless connectivity in the Flex, which can sync with PCs, Macs, or mobile devices via Bluetooth 4.0. Its lithium-polymer batteries run for five to seven days.

It has an MSRP of $ 99.95, and is slated to be released in spring 2013 in a variety of … [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET