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.”

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.

Welcome to Cyprus traffic violations

Cyprus Mail reports:

OVER 2,000 traffic violations were recorded last weekend by two fixed speed cameras installed on Grivas Dhigenis avenue in Nicosia.

Just give it a minute to sink in. Two thousand violations. In only two days. Recorded by only two fixed cameras (fixed means people know where and when they are).  These numbers are mind-blowing.  And yet what does the police decide?  Here’s what:

Deputy head of the Electromechanical Services Department (ESD) Loucas Timotheou said that no one would be prosecuted or fined, for now.

I think this basically explains the attitude towards the traffic laws.  Furthermore:

Timotheou told the Cyprus Mail that the weekend traffic violations caught by the cameras could add up to €100,000 in fines. “Of course, it’s not about the money. It’s about protecting people and making drivers obey traffic laws,” he said.

Two things that catch my attention here are:

  1.  Isn’t Cyprus trying to survive a bad economy, scrubbing for money everywhere? Why 100K in two days is completely ignored?
  2. How exactly are you protecting people by recording videos of violators and not issuing fines?

The ends of the road

The ends of the road

Here is a nice idea with a good execution:

A village at the end of the road, near Sund, Norway

I spent some time recently in Google Maps, finding the edges of their Street View image coverage. I’ve always been drawn to the end of the road, to the edges of where one might be allowed to travel, whether blocked by geographic features, international borders, or simply the lack of any further road.

Via kottke.