bitguru blog

a guru of bits, or just a bit player?

Archive for July, 2008

Omaha

Posted by bitguru on July 27, 2008

I knocked myself out of a multi-table pot-limit Omaha tournament in the first hand this afternoon.

On the turn I had made the nut low, with straight draws and some counterfeit insurance. I made a pot-sized bet and called an all-in raise. It was a no brainer to accept the risk of being quartered, I figured, considering I had locked up the low and had a decent chance to scoop the pot.

Next time I’ll make sure we’re actually playing the hi/lo game instead of straight Omaha hi. doh!

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hybrid minivans “coming soon”

Posted by bitguru on July 15, 2008

There have been few hints as to when hybrid minivans might be available, but the Windsor (Ontario) Star claims they are just around the corner, starting with Chrysler models.

Evidently Mike Omotoso of J.D. Power has some inside information. According to the newspaper, he says Chrysler “intends to put its two-mode hybrid system in the Grand Caravan starting next year” and that it “will be able to sell up to 7.5 per cent of its 2010 minivan production run as hybrids.”

Omatoso also expects hybrid minivans from Toyota by 2010, as reported elsewhere.

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hybrid Toyota minivan by 2010?

Posted by bitguru on July 2, 2008

I haven’t seen much speculation on hybrid minivans lately, but today BusinessWeek reports: “By 2010, Toyota is also believed to be planning two more dedicated hybrid models, including a new hybrid minivan.

I would have preferred something more substantial than “believed to be planning” but I’ll take what I can get.

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drag racing hybrids

Posted by bitguru on July 1, 2008

Times Online has some fun racing a Toyota Prius against a Honda Civic Hybrid on a drag strip. Electric motors have good low-end torque, so we should expect these two cars not to perform terribly, even though they are optimized for efficiency over performance.

Prius (left) vs. 450h (right)The Prius edged out the hybrid Civic in the quarter mile. Then for good measure they put the Prius up against a Lexus GS 450h hyrbid. The 450h is one of the faster production vehicles out there, with a 0-60mph time of 5.2 seconds, so this was hardly a fair fight but it was entertaining. See the article for details.

It would have been interesting to see how well a Honda Accord Hybrid would have done on the track. The hybird Accord was optimized for performance, not efficiency, and was discontinued when it didn’t sell well. It wouldn’t have beaten the 450h, but its 0-60mph time was a respectable 7.5 seconds.

In a separate article, Cars.com says that the 2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid “is too quick. Yes, unnecessarily quick.” I wouldn’t say the hybrid Highlander was optimized for performance, but it retains a V6 engine. Ford chose to downsize to a four-cylinder engine for its similarly sized Escape hybrid. For this reason the hybrid Escape bests the hybrid Highlander in efficiency. The reviewer would have preferred that Toyota had made the same choice. I tend to agree.

update: In an older New Hampshire drag race, a hyrbrid 2008 Highlander and a conventional 2008 Highlander hastened to a draw.

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