Odd news of the day

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by RickAgresta, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    'Park 50 Feet or More Away' From Other Cars, GM Advises Some Bolt Owners
    It's another awkward moment for GM as the recall rolls on.

    upload_2021-9-16_14-16-22.png

    GM has had a hell of a time dealing with the Chevrolet Bolt. No automaker wants to build a car that catches fire at random, let alone sell 100,000 of them, all of which need to be recalled for repairs. That's the situation GM finds itself in, however, and it only gets more awkward from there. The company has now been advising several owners to park an astounding 50 feet away from other cars due to the risk of fire, reports CNBC.

    First reported by Bloomberg News, the advice is being given to customers who ring GM regarding parking their cars in parking lots or parking structures. GM spokesman Dan Flores stated in an email that “In an effort to reduce potential damage to structures and nearby vehicles in the rare event of a potential fire, we recommend parking on the top floor or on an open-air deck and park 50 feet or more away from another vehicle." It's understandable, given that a recent Bolt fire in an outdoor carpark led to the destruction of a nearby Maserati and Hyundai in California.

    Earlier in the recall, advice from the NHTSA was that owners should park outdoors, well away from other vehicles and structures. However, for many who live in apartments or in areas without street parking, this simply isn't an option.


    Of course, 50 feet is a long way; a full 15.24 French Yardsticks, in fact. Typical US parking spaces are 9 feet wide, meaning that owners are being advised to leave 6 parking spaces between their vehicle and any other car. That might barely be achievable in some parking lots that are under-subscribed, but it presumes owners would somehow be able to block out surrounding parking spots in a radius of the vehicle, not simply to the left and right as Bolts aren't picky about which directions they throw out burning debris. There's also the damage to the structure itself to consider, as well.

    uh, link:
    https://www.thedrive.com/news/42397...aMGdmSJGiUgjg5ryp7PIMk8kR0_ir1GGqWnmiC82XDDXY
     
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  2. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    To be fair, a friend of mine told me about a neighbor whose Tesla caught fire and burned down the house too. The Bolt does seem more problematic as I know lots of people with Teslas who haven't had issues and they haven't been recalled.
     
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  3. scjjtt

    scjjtt A Former Palm User

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    Now our cars have to practice social distancing... :)

    Sent from my moto g stylus using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  4. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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    I'm going to put a Chevy Bolt badge on my car, hoping people will give me space in order to avoid dings in parking lots.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Tom LaPrise

    Tom LaPrise Absent-Minded Professor

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    I'm kind of glad there isn't assigned parking here at my apartment parking lot... although that means I can't have an electric car either. (My choice would have probably been the Chevy Spark EV, which had something like 460 ft-lbs of torque at zero RPM. Neck-snapping power, as my dad would say.)
     
  6. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    He returned the rental car long ago. He can still turn the engine on via an app

    Imagine you've parked your rental car and are walking away. Suddenly, the car starts up, seemingly on its own. Yes, it's another day in technology making everything better.

    You think we're living in the end of times?

    No, this is just a transitional period between relative sanity and robot inanity.

    The problem, of course, is that our deep, mindless reliance on technology is causing severe disruption.

    I'm moved to this fortune cookie thought by the tale of a man who rented a Ford Expedition from Enterprise. He gave it back and, five months later, he discovered that he could still start its engine, switch it off, lock and unlock it and even track it. Remotely, that is.

    You see, as Ars Technica described last October, Masamba Sinclair had connected his rental car to FordPass, an app that's presumably very useful. Who wouldn't want to remotely unlock the doors of a car someone else is renting? Just to imagine their faces, you understand. It so happened that Sinclair hadn't unpaired his app from the car. Cue the absurdity.

    At the time, I thought Sinclair's tale entertaining. But surely the app's vulnerability would be patched, secured or whatever technical verbal emoji you might choose.

    Yet Sinclair just rented another Ford -- this time, a Mustang. And what do you know, four days after he'd returned it he could still make the car do things from his phone. Which could have been a touch bemusing to anyone who happened to have subsequently rented it.

    Sinclair even filmed some of the action. (see article for pictures. RA)

    It seems that Ford does offer warning notifications inside the car when it's paired with someone's phone.

    Yet if subsequent renters or, indeed, the rental company's cleaners don't react to such notifications -- or simply don't see them -- a random somebody who happens to still have an app paired to the car may incite some remote action, like a ghostly jump start.

    You might think Sinclair should have already disconnected his app from any car he'd previously rented. Some might grunt, though, that it shouldn't be his responsibility.

    For its part, Enterprise gave Ars a statement that began: "The safety and privacy of our customers is an important priority for us as a company." An important priority, but not the most important priority?

    The company added: "Following the outreach last fall, we updated our car cleaning guidelines related to our master reset procedure. Additionally, we instituted a frequent secondary audit process in coordination with Ford. We also started working with Ford and are very near the completion of testing software with them that will automate the prevention of FordPass pairing by rental customers."

    Here's the part that always make me curl up on my sofa and offer intermittent bleats. Why is it that when technologies such as these are implemented, the creators don't sufficiently consider the potential consequences and prevent them from happening?

    If Sinclair could so easily keep his app paired to any Ford he'd rented -- and this surely doesn't just apply to Fords -- why wasn't it easy for the Ford and/or Enterprise to ensure it couldn't happen?

    Why does it take a customer to point out the patent insecurity of the system before companies actually do anything about it?

    Perhaps one should be grateful that at least nothing grave occurred. But imagine if someone of brittle brains realized they could be the ghost in a machine and really scare a stranger.

    Too often, tech companies place the onus on customers to work things out for themselves and even to save themselves. Or, worse, to only discover a breach when it's too late.

    Wouldn't it be bracing if tech companies, I don't know, showed a little responsibility in advance?


    Link:
    https://www.zdnet.com/article/he-re...o-he-can-still-turn-the-engine-on-via-an-app/
     
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  7. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    Ig Nobel Awards, from 2020, more interesting imho, than this years, which studied whether transporting a rhinoceros upside-down (suspended by its feet) was more or less stressful than if it was on its side: https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/10/world/rhinos-ig-nobel-scli-intl-scn/?hpt=ob_blogfooterold

    Scientists win award for giving an alligator helium and making it shout
    Link: https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/18/us/ig-nobel-awards-alligator-helium-scli-scn-intl/index.html
    A team of scientists who put an alligator in a helium-filled box and made it shout have won an Ig Nobel Prize, a prestigious(ish) award that commemorates the science world's more unorthodox experiments.

    The group, led by researchers from Austria and Japan, were attempting to find out whether alligators' vocal communications relate to their body size -- but it was their method, rather than their hypothesis, that caught the eye of the awards committee.
    Another experiment, which found that narcissists can be identified by their eyebrows, was also honored (https://www.insider.com/people-with-bushy-eyebrows-may-be-narcissists-award-winning-study-2020-9).
    And the ceremony's Peace Prize went to the governments of India and Pakistan, for "having their diplomats surreptitiously ring each other's doorbells in the middle of the night, and then run away before anyone had a chance to answer the door" -- a reference to an incident that reportedly took place two years ago.

    The Ig Nobels have been awarded since 1991 to parody the more established Nobel Prizes. This year's ceremony, which took place on Thursday, was webcast as a result of the pandemic.
    The award for Economics went to an international team of experts for "trying to quantify the relationship between different countries' national income inequality and the average amount of mouth-to-mouth kissing."

    Meanwhile, American researcher Richard Vetter won the entomology prize for "collecting evidence that many entomologists (scientists who study insects) are afraid of spiders, which are not insects."
    And a Dutch-Belgian team won the medicine award for "diagnosing a long-unrecognized medical condition: Misophonia, the distress at hearing other people make chewing sounds."

    "The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people laugh, then think," the award organizers write on their website.
    Winners accept their prizes from "genuinely bemused genuine Nobel Laureates," the website reads -- this year, six Nobel winners dished out the trophies.
    US President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro won the "Medical Education Award," along with a handful of other world leaders, for using the pandemic to teach the world that "politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can" -- a not-so-subtle dig at those politicians' handling of the coronavirus crisis.
    Thursday's ceremony marked the 30th edition of the awards, which are usually held at Harvard University.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
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  8. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    I'd love to see and/or hear the shout!
     
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  9. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    this post is one to make one jealous, imho...

    William Shatner will launch into space with Blue Origin on Oct. 12

    [​IMG]
    Actor William Shatner, at left, and Blue Origin Vice President of Mission & Flight Operations, at right, will fill the final two seats on the Oct. 12, 2021, New Shepard crewed flight. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

    Captain Kirk will boldly go where some men have gone before, on a suborbital flight aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard launch system.

    Actor William Shatner of "Star Trek" fame and Blue Origin's Audrey Powers, the vice president of missions and flight operations, will fill the last two seats on the company's second crewed flight, due to blast off from New Shepard's west Texas launch site in just over a week, on Oct. 12. Rumors were swirling in late September that the 90-year-old* actor would be on the company's second flight, which today's announcement confirms.

    "I've heard about space for a long time now," Shatner said in a Blue Origin statement. "I'm taking the opportunity to see it for myself. What a miracle."

    Shatner and his crewmates will fly just shy of three months after New Shepard's first crewed flight, which carried the company's founder, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, and three other passengers on a 10-minute flight that reached 66.5 miles (107 kilometers) in altitude.

    https://www.space.com/william-shatn...utm_term=3f4042a6-dfd5-4263-ba00-f1df69608763

    *I knew that he was older than I am, but didn't realize the gap was that large......

    EDIT: this link is worth a click, too:

    https://www.space.com/william-shatner-album-possible-blue-origin-flight
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
  10. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    I think it's cool Shatner is going. I consider myself a fan (and not just of Star Trek). I do think the Blue Origin 'space' flight is a bit of dodge (as is the Virgin one); but I bet Elon Musk is kicking himself for not beating Bezos to the punch on this one. And I'm happy for Shatner.
     
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