Trivia Teaser

What career did Marilyn Monroe embark upon in 1946?

Photographic model
Sales assistant
Singing teacher

Technology Speak


By Miranda

I wasn't a fan of the various in-car navigation systems when they were first introduced. What seemed to me to be intolerably condescending, instructions on how to go from A to B irritated more than they helped.

A bit like the voice reminders that your seat belt has not been done up - or, for that matter, the beeping alarms that go off when you put a heavy parcel on the seat and fail to belt it in, the seat's detection device not being able to distinguish between the animate and inanimate.

Then there was the error rate that caused a rash of notices on tourist attractions in more remote places advising, on their web sites, that people not use the navigation systems to reach them as they were likely to be directed along unmade or long-since-closed roads.

That said, I have great sympathy for people trying to introduce new technology and I have to admit that most of the problems with in-car navigation have been or are being sorted out.

Especially with respect to the voices.

One manufacturer now offers that of Darth Vader™ from the Star Wars™ series. This really appeals to me, though it isn't the original voice. That was James Earl Jones who could make a string of digital data sound like poetry, let alone an instruction to turn to the dark side.

Even more amusing is the manufacturer's marketing campaign - I don't do this often, but here's the link.

OK, it's funny, but that wasn't the only reason to rejoice at the video. No spoilers, but what it does is make absolutely plain that 'roundabout' is the global term for the type of intersection which might also be called a 'traffic circle' or 'rotary', great news when making clues for all varieties of English, as I am.

Dilatory, dictionaries are!


13 Responses to

Technology Speak

kathig said:
August 05, 2010 at 3:32 AM

I agree completely with how annoying and sometimes frustrating these can be. But when you are as prone to getting lost as I am, they can be the best thing since sliced bread

kragzy said:
August 05, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Dilatory, dictionaries are... compelling, cryptic crosswords are!!



Angelica said:
August 05, 2010 at 9:44 AM

I agree, however I am now hooked. And the fun thing is I enjoy a female voice passing on the instructions ... as opposed to that of a male telling me where to go LOL. All in fun of course. :-)

August 05, 2010 at 5:46 PM

My son has one of these, but I must confess I prefer a regular street directory. Or map. Even if I have to stop and look. After all, I can then see for several miles (er, kilometres?)ahead. My memory is not so poor that I have to stop and look every few yards (drat, metres).

rhve said:
August 05, 2010 at 10:17 PM

I prefer my Melway. It just presents the facts - it doesn't try to tell me where to go or tell me I'm wrong if I change my mind and make a detour. Liked the link tho'

Pooka said:
August 07, 2010 at 6:54 PM

I prefer the Melways as well, and it helps that I enjoy my many detours along the way.

derekn said:
August 08, 2010 at 9:09 AM

I have been in 2 vehicles with them and I think they are useless if the driver is lazy. For instance, as a passenger driving from Melbourne to Sydney, I don't need to know to "go straight 800 kilometres, go straight 780 kilometres" every 11 minutes or so. I even got in a vehicle with someone who leaves work (the same location) every day and presses "home". Also, take the third turn right can be a little confusing at a roundabout until you figure it really just means don't go left or straight ahead. Not for me. A technology that hasn't found an application, but has found a market.

echips said:
August 09, 2010 at 3:26 AM

Other roundabout variations are "magic roundabout" with mini roundabouts around the entry roads, gyratories, ring junctions, rotary interchanges, traffic circles. France has half the world's roundabouts.

r2j2 said:
August 09, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Not fussed on the whole Navman technology, much happier with a good old street directory, but love the visual of Darth Vader recording his 'lines'.

August 10, 2010 at 8:45 PM

We were in England a few weeks ago, staying in Surrey. We hired a car with a sat nav system and it was an absolute godsend. We would never have found our way around with out it.

Madisonn said:
August 13, 2010 at 2:46 AM

Just returned from a 2,300-mile trip from Georgia to Maine (USA) & back. Found it incredibly annoying to hear "Stay on the same road" at every intersection & to take a "slight right turn" when it really meant "Exit (or enter) the freeway." And I'd really like a Pause button so I could make a pit stop without constant instructions to "Make a legal U-turn." That said, the GPS got us directly to unfamiliar destinations in the dark when we were exhausted, found gas stations that took our credit cards and even discovered and routed us to street fairs. It doesn't replace a map, but it's a great adjunct.

carshark said:
October 18, 2010 at 11:58 AM

I get totally confused by the allocation of points awarded for the results given at the completion of each crossword completed.Without assistance, and only doing the quiz once, I notice that some genius has typed at what must be court reporter speed,has double or treble the amount of points., please explain? Also that same contestant has fastest time maybe 2 or 3 times on the same day.

kragzy said:
October 20, 2010 at 10:47 AM

I agree carshark, the points are weird. Ehewonarriors from NZ gets astronomical scores for everything he does. I'm not a competitive person so I don't worry about it, but it is intriguing. Have you tried contacting YP directly through the feedback email system?