Saturday, 23 January 2016

Sign of The Times

Correction, make that The BBC, not The Times.

I read this non-story today about people complaining about some new LED advertising signs put up near the Liverpool end of the M62 motorway:
I say "people".  It is actually the ABD, the Alliance of British Drivers, an organisation I was unimpressed by three years ago. They are probably upset because one of them missed the speed camera on the motorway in that area because they were busy reading whatever it was displaying an advert for.

The Liverpool Echo covered the plans for the signs back in June although the location was a bit different and the main objection then was "due their size, elevated location and that they will be illuminated, which we consider would have a significant detrimental impact on the local community – both to local residents and local amenities.”:
The picture looked good though.

I'm not seeing any real dangers myself - they are not moving pictures (like I saw in November '14 when both the adverts AND the pictures were moving) and it is claimed that lighting levels are controlled.

At least no real dangers unless Wonderbra revisit a certain advertising campaign from 1994.  Hello Boys.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Love Me, Love My Car.

Is having your photo taken caressing your car a thing?
 There seem to be loads of these on the 'Net.
 And it's not just men...

Can't explain why, but this guy is my favourite:
And yet, according to the BBC Business Section today, we seem to have fallen out of love with the car. Possibly permanently?

It's an interesting piece that tells us that, at some point in the '90s, the ever-increasing total number of miles being driven every year bottomed out.

It goes on to say "In 2012, the RAC Foundation got together with a group of academics. They analysed Britain's stats between 1995 and 2007, stopping there to leave out the impact of the subsequent recession.

And this is what they found. About 70% of us were driving more. But the average mileage was being dragged down because young men, company car drivers and Londoners were driving less."

The key findings were:
  • Men in their twenties drive 1,912 miles a year less than they did in the mid-1990s
  • The number of men in their twenties holding a full driving licence also dropped by 11% between the mid-1990s and 2005-07
  • Company car mileage dropped by nearly 40% between 1995-97 and 2005-07
  • Driving mileage across London fell by 20% in the decade leading up to the recession
OK, we'll ignore the first one because they would have been in their mid-teens in the '90s.

Number 2 is the surprising one - I know wanted to get a licence as soon as I was old enough.

Number 3 has to be a good thing. I remember the bad old days when it was normal for petrol companies to give away free gifts to Company Car Drivers to get them in while charging too much for the petrol because "the Company was paying for it."  Video-conferencing and tele-commuting and the decline of British industry would have played a part in this of course.

Number 4.  Two words.  Congestion Charge.

Another interesting statement in the story:

"If car use has peaked, this will radically change transport policy - and in particular should lead to a complete reassessment of the government's £15bn road-building plans."

Wonder if anyone would notice if a 31 mile stretch went AWOL?  The BBC beat me to the headline - Highway Robbery.

Now, just time to give the Jag a wash and a cuddle.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Audi '80s

Interesting story from the Detroit Motor Show in Autoguide today.

It's an Audi concept car called the h-tron:
Looks a bit Volvo to me. But it is an Audi hybrid obviously named after a film from the early '80s:
A time when Audi made the Audi 80:
A time when people were discovering other computer games as well as those featured in Tron.

Like Tetris for example.  Which brings us back to the Autoguide article.  Apparently the new concept has a couple of sensor/scanners in the boot which analyse your luggage and tell you the best way to pack it.  The article calls it "automated car-tetris".

I actually enjoy working out the best way to pack the boot.  That's why I drive an estate car and have a Degree in Statistics.

The concept also has OLED Audi tablets that allow rear-seat passengers to communicate with the driver. 

Can't help thinking that talking would be a better method of communication - like we did in the '80s.

And the car-tetris has been done before too:

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Yorker!

See what I did there?

A Chrysler-related seasonal greeting.

Like my Christmas post?

Oh never mind.

Anyway it is now 2016.

And last week I received my February 2016 copy of Top Gear Magazine.

In December 2015!

I did notice that the one they delivered in November was the January 2016 edition - every other year it would have been the Awards issue - making it 13 in a year and keeping it roughly close to the correct month for the edition.

So are they ripping us off?  The subscriptions page still talks about buying 13 issues.  I buy mine using Tesco Clubcard vouchers so I suppose I wouldn't really notice.

I do miss the Clarkson, May & Hammond columns - there's no sign of a Chris Evans one yet.  They did have an extract and an offer on his book last month but that doesn't count.

Of course, talking Evans and 2016, the big event this year will be the new series of Top Gear Telly.  Let's see if it's any good and if we can have a Happy New Yorker Year.