Self-driving cars’ unexpected side effect …

Slashdot links to a rather unexpected prediction for the time when we are all driven by the robot cars:

“At least one expert is anticipating that, as the so-called ‘smart’ cars get smarter, there will eventually be an increase in an unusual form of distracted driving: hanky-panky behind the wheel.”

Automakers to gearheads: Stop repairing cars

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has caused a lot of grief over the years.  AutoBlog reports that now car manufacturers are trying to use it to stop people from repairing and tuning their cars:

Allowing them to continue to fix their cars has become “legally problematic,” according to a written statement from the Auto Alliance, the main lobbying arm of automakers.

The dispute arises from a section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that no one thought could apply to vehicles when it was signed into law in 1998. But now, in an era where cars are rolling computing platforms, the U.S. Copyright Office is examining whether provisions of the law that protect intellectual property should prohibit people from modifying and tuning their cars.

Ridiculous, is the word that describes this best, I think.

New wheels : Suzuki Splash

With me now working in Nicosia and Maxim’s school year about to start, the need for a second car has emerged.  We’ve been planning it for a while any way, it’s just that the priority of it raised recently.  Our Mitsubishi Galant is more than 13 years old now, and while it works fine, it’s probably not the best idea to push it into daily 160+ kilometers journey mode.

So, with that in mind, we bought a second car.   Olga picked it up on Friday and I’ll be using that for my daily travels instead.  The new car is a Suzuki Splash, which is very similar to Suzuki Swift, but in a different body.  Here is how it looks:


… and a bit of the front and back:

I’ve been taking it for a spin during the weekend, and I have to say that I am rather surprised as to how comfortable this car is.  It’s a bit slower to accelerate (1.2L engine and automatic gearbox versus 1.8L and manual gearbox of the Mitsubishi Galant), but once it gets going, it’s very stable.  I also expect it to need much less petrol, which is a definite plus for my daily trips to and from Nicosia.

Hopefully, it will last us as much as the Galant did.

According to the proposal, the state officials who…

According to the proposal, the state officials who are entitled to a luxury car are: the president of the Republic and the House president, the attorney general and the assistant attorney general, the chief negotiator for the Cyprus problem, ministers, ministry undersecretaries (if they are appointed), the auditor general, the accountant general, ministry permanent secretaries, supreme court judges, the house permanent secretary and all former Republic and House presidents.

Cyprus Mail

Thorium-Fueled Automobile Engine Needs Refueling Once a Century

Thorium-Fueled Automobile Engine Needs Refueling Once a Century

Current models of the engine weigh 500 pounds, easily fitting into the engine area of a conventionally-designed vehicle. According to CEO Charles Stevens, just one gram of the substance yields more energy than 7,396 gallons (28,000 L) of gasoline and 8 grams would power the typical car for a century.

The idea of using thorium is not new. In 2009, Loren Kulesus designed the Cadillac World Thorium Fuel Concept Car. LPS is developing the technology so it can be mass-produced.

Racing in slow motion

This is beautiful, almost breathtaking.  When watching racing in real-time, a lot of tiny moments fly by without being noticed.  In this video, they are brought back to us – everything from small things like sparks and flying dirt, to crashes and people’s reactions.

This video is the fourth installment in the series, and it’s the most awesome.  If you want to check the other ones, here they are: part 3, part 2, and the original.  Subscribe to the RacingInSlowMotion YouTube channel to be notified of the new uploads.