* Posts by Martin 59

8 posts • joined 15 Jul 2013

Tesla's autonomous lane changing software is worse at driving than humans, and more

Martin 59

Re: Tesla test coverage?

Don't forget to reverse the connector on the steering servo.

Want to hack a hole-in-the-wall cash machine for free dosh? It's as easy as Windows XP

Martin 59

Re: First sentence pissed me off more than it should

It's called RAS syndrome, if it gives you a headache I recommend some NSAID drugs.

Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Martin 59

Re: Daft indicator switch


I didn't buy one.

Martin 59

Daft indicator switch

What must have been 10-15 years ago I test-drove a BMW 7-series. In every other modern car I have driven, the indicators are activated by moving the stalk up or down and, if you move it far enough, it stays there. The act of turning the steering wheel sufficiently far in the appropriate direction and then centring it returns the stalk to the off position. Not so on the BMW. The stalk would move a tiny amount then return to neutral. This would set the indicators going until the car’s electronics worked out that you’d made the turn.

This was fine for normal 90-degree turns at a junction; but once on a dual carriageway, having indicated to change lanes, I couldn’t turn it off again. Trying to move it back to neutral resulted in indicating the other way and so I would carry on, indicating left then right over and over until, for a reason unknown to this day, it would finally cancel.

After a while I felt it was easier to switch lanes without warning.

Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

Martin 59

Re: Nostalgia

Reply to my own comment - I must have mis-remembered the steep ramp story because I've just read that the N500 was scrapped in 1985, before I bought the car in question. It would have been an SRN4.

Martin 59


That article brought back memories. My first overseas holiday as a boy was to France, travelling on a Seaspeed SRN4. The names Princess Anne and Princess Margaret were both names I remembered from such holidays and as I got older they served as transport for many a booze cruise.

I also remember the French N500 that Seaspeed used and how unreliable they were. Talking to a stewardess whilst waiting to board (the hovercraft not the stewardess) she assured me from experience that if it breaks down in the middle of the Channel it will float for at least half an hour, which is how long it had taken them to get it going again.

Both the SRN4 and the N500 were boarded by driving across the huge concrete slab on which it had landed and then up a steep metal ramp into the car desk. The N500 ramp was steeper and it was not possible to go over the top in a Ford Granada MkII with four blokes, a boot full of beer, and many more crates bungeed to a roof-rack. To avoid bottoming-out all four of us had to get out and walk alongside whilst I hopped along with my left foot gently on the accelerator (it was an automatic) ready to jump in once we were over. I'm sure that we would never get away with doing that nowadays, but back then the "ground crew" just watched, shaking their heads; probably thinking that the savings in booze will never pay for the new set of shock-absorbers I'll need after driving home.

Real, hovering SPEEDER BIKE can be YOURS for cheaper than a house

Martin 59

Re: Depends on your expectations

I was cynical when I watched the video too: why no shots of the whole thing in flight? Thanks for the link; I'm much more impressed now.

UK.gov fines itself harshly for hurling NHS records to the winds

Martin 59

I know it's only a guideline but that ICO doc is full of "should"s rather than "must". There is a vast difference between what you should do and what you must do: it is easy to comply with most of those guidelines by doing sod-all. In the past I've had the "should", "shall", "will" and "must" discussion with a contract lawyer (the strongest is "must") because I've seen this kind of thing before.


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