Lets all follow the GPS, and to damn with situational awareness

Driver turns into a one way street, the wrong way, and it’s the fault of the GPS:

… Unfortunately, police said, drivers use devices almost like a Bible and listen to their directions, word for word. Police said drivers need to be very careful, always be aware of their surroundings, and don’t totally rely on technology.

Dunmore police said the crash happened near the intersection of Route 435 and Drinker Turnpike in Dunmore. Police said around 5 p.m. on Monday, Robyn Oelke, 27, of Kingston pulled up to a stop sign in her car, looking to go south on Route 435.

Police said Oelke’s GPS told her to make a right, even though there are nine signs telling drivers, "Do Not Enter" and "You Are Going the Wrong Way."

Oelke told police she didn’t see those signs, and made the right-hand turn into oncoming traffic. That’s when Michael Mastillo, 39, of Roaring Brook Township, was coming northbound on Route 435 and slammed right into Oelke head on. …

But not just drivers taking the word of the GPS, and to damn with what the outside world is telling them.  From to this article in the Jan-Feb 2011 edition of Flight Safety Australia ("Mixed Blessings")

… There is a strong perception among general aviation trainers that some private and commercial pilots are letting GPS do what they should be doing – or should at least be aware of – themselves.

‘If there is a crisis in flight planning, then it’s GPS that’s the culprit,’ a chief flying instructor (CFI) with a university-linked flying training organisation says.

Another CFI mentioned being in outback Queensland, and talking to the pilot of a light twin who had flown there from the east coast with no charts, relying instead on a GPS receiver. ‘He was only a battery failure away from being totally lost,’ the appalled instructor said. …

The world knows where you live – that is not good.

It might be a bit of a surprise to you, it certainly was to me.  The Apple iPhone stores the location of where a photo was taken.  It’s known as Location.  Or geo-location with other makes of phones/cameras.  Seems harmless enough, doesn’t it.

Except when some enterprising people decide to create a Firefox plug-in which lets you view the GPS co-ordinates, then link you though, to say Google Maps.

iPhone photo - we know where you liveOr not.  "42° 53? 7.60? S, 147° 19? 35.54? E" is a church in Tasmania.  I selected it at random, to mask the real address.

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Semi-regular web-link clearance – November 2009

Desi Dhaba Desi Dhaba
Authentic Indian restaurant.  One of the blokes at work recommends it.  Will have to give it a try. 134 Flinders Street, Melbourne.
I’ve tried it, curry was good, but I’ve had hotter.  Next time I’ll ask for “Indian Hot”.


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Free e-books: Windows 7 troubleshooting tips
Mitch Tulloch, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and lead author of the just-published Windows 7 Resource Kit has created two free books worth grabbing copies of “What You Can Do Before You Call Tech Support.” & Deploying Windows 7His website is here.

Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool allows you to create a copy of your Windows 7 ISO file on a USB flash drive or a DVD. To create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive, download the ISO file and then run the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool. Once this is done, you can install Windows 7 directly from the USB flash drive or DVD.

Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool Released Under GPLv2
Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool


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Measuring your car’s speed.

gps_speedo_2 I’ve not had a speeding ticket since returning to Melbourne.  My partner puts this down to luck.  I put it down to using GPS software.

It’s a fact that your car’s speedometer will not be accurate.  Tyre size and wear play a big part.  Fit bigger tyres to your car, your speedo will read slow.  Even what pressure your tyres are inflated at, make a difference.

Now Australian Design Rules allow a +/- 10% tolerance in the speed that your speedometer reads.  The folks who issue you tickets do not.  So the key is to know how (in)accurate your speedo is.

I use GPS Speedo, as it’s free, and works on Windows Mobile.

With our Honda CR-V, it shows our speedo reads 6 km/h under.  So if I drive at 86 km/h, my actual speed is 80 km/h.  And I pass all the other traffic which thinks they are driving at 80 km/h.

Of course I don’t tell the my partner this, as she then will think “Oh, I can drive a 90 km/h and not get a ticket.”.  And then wonders “Why did I get a ticket for speeding?”.

GPS Speedo can be downloaded here.

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