Rental Car Review Lancia Ypsilon

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 

Rental Car Review: Lancia Ypsilon

The Lancia Ypsilon is a surprisingly spry little car. It’s a typical Euro rental, a very compact little car with a manual transmission and a tiny diesel engine. But this little guy has a very turbo charged little mill that is quite zippy, even with four people in the car, very important in Italy where two lane mountain roads are shared by powerful BMWs, funny little farm three-wheelers, tractors, and large lorries.

The car is entirely functional in every important way: it is quiet, it is zippy, it holds four people comfortably, it actually holds some luggage. The lack of a trunk of any sort means you can’t store anything in the car when parked though.

We got the rental while taking a language class in Lucca – we picked it up in Florence and had no trouble driving it along the A11. We used it all week to commute between Pieve di Cerreto, where it made fine time up and down the hill, and Lucca. We had no trouble passing. We met a few couples in class and took them out in the back of the car, even a full-size Australian couple who fit just fine.

  • Quiet – Fairly quiet for a small car.
  • Comfortable – I didn’t try the back seats, but the fronts seats are fine, except for having the wheel well where your left foot should go.
  • Basic amenities – Power everything, but no outside temperature reading. I like knowing the outside temp.
  • Stereo – not bad for a single speaker solution.
  • Security – no trunk, can’t leave anything in the car.
Posted at 23:00:32 GMT-0700

Category: Rental carsReviews

Sunbeam in Venice

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 

We visited the Santa Maria della Salute in Venice early in the morning and a beam of light from the window was illuminating the statue.

Posted at 13:00:27 GMT-0700

Category: photoPlaces

Please help stop the Pro-IP act

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 

A relative of mine was once worked in government. For years we’d argue about whether government was really for the people or simply an instrument of corporate interests. He always took the side that government was for the people and that while special interests had excessive clout, government was made by people who genuinely wanted to make the world a better place and fulfill the mandate of our constitution.

Then came the Sonny Bono copyright act, an act that made no concession what so ever to either the Constitution (Copyright is a limited monopoly offered for the sole purpose of promoting the progress of science and the useful arts and is not, and never was a “property right”) nor to the public good (entirely selling out the public interest for private gain). He lost confidence in government and now works as a lobbyist.

As disheartening as the fundamentally unconstitutional direction copyright law has taken in recent years in order to prop up a largely unnecessary publishing and distribution business, a model that has been obviated by the technology of the internet, it takes a far more sinister turn with the Pro-IP act.

This act does more than merely turn the government into a strong-arm profit enforcement agency for the entertainment industry as recent bills such as Sonny Bono, NET, and the DMCA have done by criminalizing what is fundamentally a civil complaint, it creates a Stazi-like federal enforcement agency with the power to seize property in a way that seems on it’s face to violate the 5th amendment.

The irony of violating the spirit and letter of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 by creating a false property right that retards the progress of science and the useful arts and enforcing that false property right by violating everyone’s Fifth Amendment right to real property is extraordinary.

I cannot help but imagine entertainment industry lobbyists falling out of their chairs laughing and snorking their champagne.

Posted at 12:34:51 GMT-0700

Category: Politics