There have been times when I've thought some companies and people believe, "It's all bullshit and perception!" There have been times when people have told me that flat-out and have tried to motivate me to follow them under that assumption.
"Whited sepulchre" comes to mind.
You don't have to know what is going on outside your field, and it is so much more peaceful not knowing all the dangers that are going to kill you (but never really happen).
You don't have to read the whole thing. Just find the parts where they do empirical comparisons. It becomes very obvious that the western press is a propaganda machine -- just the slick "free market" version.
After Japan cried "enough" and sent Hatoyama packing, things slowly started to return to "normal".
Toyota ADRs have rallied 19% since Hatoyama's resignation.
Also, by the way, there is a small U.S. presence (not 100% sure if it military or otherwise), but there is a clear area right in the middle of Tokyo in the Roppongi area which seems to be reserved for U.S. personnel. You can see helicopters (and they sure as hell looked military) land there regularly from the top of the Mori Tower building. The "H" for the helipad is quite visible even on Google Maps in Satellite mode, and whenever I saw a U.S. helicopter land there, I used to wonder how any country can be such a puppet to another and still act "free". The lack of awareness and discussion about that area and the lack of access to it by everyday Japanese spoke tons about the Japan-U.S. relationship. I believe Hatoyama stood for the right thing.
I should hope so, given that it's the US Embassy.
FWIW, it's not just the Japanese that can not get into that base, civilian US citizens will also probably find trouble getting in. Which is a bummer since the PX there sells affordable cuts of meat.
Thanks. I finally found an article mentioning it : http://www.jpri.org/publications/friends/mcneill_JT_05-09-06...
In the US, a lot of news which has technical content is presented by people who don't understand it.
I've noticed this, too. For example, I once read on CNN that a satellite was orbiting "one trillion miles" away from Earth. But even more egregious than that numerical error (which was later corrected) was an article a few years ago on how young people's thumbs are "mutating". Basically, the idea was that people were using their thumbs to type on cell phones. Somehow CNN made a genetics story out of it.
The only real problem is that this bad news becomes "common knowledge", and it is difficult to separate independently derived common knowledge (probably true, or somehow indicative of innate human behavior) from mass media common knowledge (probably false, and ripe for exploitation by a small number of people).
This is a real pernicious problem. For about a decade, the tech fields as a whole underestimated the performance of JIT VM, overestimated the importance of FLOPS, and failed to consider the cost of I/O. Countless Pointy Haired Bosses made misguided decisions on this basis. Hordes of programmers decided not to seriously consider whole families of languages on this basis as well.
Always suspect the "common knowledge." The level of common knowledge is like the level of defensive driving on the freeways. About 1/2 the people out there are below average.
(If you know about any subject in depth, take stock of how badly misunderstood it is by the general public. Most likely, it's just as bad everywhere else. Information asymmetry! Now go out and profit!)
Not just this, but if anyone uses "common sense" as an argument, run away in fear.
As far as I can tell, "common sense" is just code for one of (A) "I'm too lazy to provide a rational explanation"; (B) "I don't think you're worth explaining to"; (C) "I don't think you're capable of understanding"; or (D) "I don't have a real explanation, but I still need to assert the truth of my claim."
Media Watch is a brilliant show.
Umm... what do you mean by that? I consider myself fairly well versed in science, but I certainly can't rattle off the average orbital speed of a GPS satellite.
The businessmen that run these monolithic media corporations, for whom news is only a small part of the total holdings, need friends with political power. The politicians need someone to make them look good. It's a mutually beneficial relationship; the businessmen get a fast track to DMCA et al, the politicians get a fast track to making their choices from earlier look good (bailing out American autos, in this case).
And I was told it was a fail safe mechanism so that the gas tank didn't explode unexpectedly, some people will lie to you to sell you anything!
It done burn good, but no 'splode.
It didn't burn until they shot it with tracer/incendiary rounds. Normal bullets don't come anywhere near setting the gas on fire.
didn't know 'cause this was a while back..
I don't know how this works if you have automatic transmission, but the principle must be the same. If you drive at very low speeds for prolonged periods, especially on uphills, the effect would probably be replicated.
Presumably, this effect would hit learners more than experienced drivers, since the former have a tendency to stick to low speeds and/or low gears.
I don't have an explanation, but from the accompanying noise I know it was something taking place within in the combustion engine itself. It was not a problem with the brakes or transmission.
Anyway, pressing hard on the brake would have stopped you.
But whatever happened with Woz's car? He claimed he could reproduce an uncontrolled acceleration bug in the electronics. (However, this is unrelated to the alleged malfunction affecting other people.) Last I heard, he turned over his car to Toyota, and that's it.
Anyone know more details?
The panic response is very difficult to overcome.
However, some people will try to apply the brakes gradually (as you would when coming to a stop normally). And in that case the brakes won't respond as one might expect. If the brakes don't seem to work, push harder until they do.
EDIT: Reading a comment farther down, I'm reminded that this is a matter of the copper pads getting too hot rather than wearing away. Same effect though.
Logically, all I needed to do was take a deep breath and move my foot sideways, but all I could think about was pulling up, which of course only exacerbated the problem.
It's not easy to think rationally when you are driving a car with several people accelerating when it should be breaking...and in the case of the linked story, it's not easy to accept blame either.
- Shut off the engine
- Put it in neutral
- Stand on the brakes (all but the most souped-up aftermarket monsters will have brakes that are stronger than the engine. Please note, STAND ON THEM. If you drag them lightly, you run a higher risk of overheating them, rendering them useless)
- Use the emergency brake
- Use the clutch (if it's a stick)
- Pull all large fuses from fuse box
- Induce a spin
- Drive the side of the car into something like a divider to scrub speed
- Run into the back of another car traveling close to your speed. They will likely slow down, slowing you down.
In short, there's a whole lot of things you can try. People just don't always know very much about driving/cars, or don't think well while panicking.
When it happened to me, I was in a parking lot. The pedal was accidentally pushed past a fold in the floor mat, which caught it and pushed it down. I was hurtling toward the curb in a small parking lot -- the car was a Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4. It was scary. Very scary. Even knowing it was a stick shift, and all I had to do was press the clutch and listen to my poor engine ping the rev limiter while I figured out what happened.
I can imagine a lot of circumstances where this would be worse. Imagine if it happened in a school zone, unexpectedly. Imagine if it happened while you were parking.
I think that's part of the reason that we haven't really heard as much about it -- we hear about the catastrophic ones, or the higher profile ones, but the majority of cases probably weren't dire.
About to hit something unexpectedly->slam foot down on wrong pedal->omg the car accelerated when it should have stopped!
From CNN (http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/08/autos/nhtsa_nasa_toyota_fina...):
"Toyota recalled nearly 8 million vehicles in 2008 and 2009 for defects related to gas pedals -- including sticky pedals and floor mat obstruction -- as a result of complaints of unwanted acceleration."
One instance out of millions of cars.
What choice did Toyota have? Better to be seen doing something even if the problem did not exist.
Huh? Is this only in cars with automatic transmission or something? Since with a manual transmission you couldn't get going uphill if this were true.
The "stop" signal of the brakes outweighs/overrides the "go" signal of the throttle by some low multiple. If I had to guess, the brakes on an average car can consume 3-4 times as much horsespower as the engine produces.
Porsche used to describe some of their brakes as "2000 hp brakes".
All I found are civil suits against Toyota asking for the EDR data but nothing criminal for "withholding crash data from the government regulators".
"Toyota Motor Corporation agreed to pay a $16.375 million fine - the largest fine permitted by law - for failing to notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a dangerous pedal defect for almost four months" http://www.nhtsa.gov/PR/DOT-71-10
"As with the report on Tuesday, the preliminary examination given to Congress in August found no evidence of flawed electronics in vehicles that crashed. That examination found only one instance in which an accelerator pedal became trapped under a floor mat and none in which a pedal became stuck or sprang back too slowly."
It is totally unacceptable (and illegal) to hide a potentially fatal problem with your products, even if you think it's probably not widespread.
Test enough cars and you'll find consistent defects. Test yet more and you'll find consistent and potentially life threatening defects. Is this a fatal problem with your product? Yes. Is it acceptable? Yes.
No one would envision my hifi burning my house down, but if it turned on (and it turned itself on at 9pm and off at 11pm every day, I never found out why because it didn't even have a timer or alarm circuit) and something failed in just that right way then yes my house could burn down. If my accelerator has a defect and fails in just that right way then yes I could crash... or I could put my car into neutral like a non-retarded person, or I could drop into 1st or 2nd gear (even in an automatic, which way too many people don't even know they have a 1st and 2nd gear), or I could just take my foot off the accelerator and apply it to the brake.
I'm sorry, but when it comes down to the simple facts that all these accidents were caused by driver error, or in the very few cases where defects did exist the accidents were ultimately caused by inexperienced drivers, and yes a person driving for 30 years can be way more inexperienced than someone who just got their license. Vehicles ultimately fail-safe. If you turn you engine off, you're left with a vehicle with no power steering and no power brakes. If you're on a highway your power steering is largely irrelevant anyway, unless they suddenly started introducing hairpin turns on all the national highways that I've yet to learn about. Your brakes, again, don't need to be power assisted for them to work, all you have to do is get to a shoulder and let your vehicle roll to a damn stop.
There's claims that switching the engine off while in motion is dangerous, but that's a wholly unproven and rather stupid claim. The problem, if there is one, is that people would panic and over-steer because of the resistance of the wheel, which would be deadly at 70mph. However, that's still driver error.
There's only one thing I find dangerous that car manufacturers have let remain for a long time, is that your brakes are a fail-deadly system. Hydraulic brakes need manual-pressure to activate whilst air-brakes are a fail-safe system requiring manual pressure to release. This would mean that in that situation where you have to turn your engine off at highway speeds, your brakes would gently start applying as the PSI drops in the air compressor.
You're claiming it's unacceptable to hide a problem with your product, but you're naively not understanding that there is always a defect margin and if that's within the government required percentage then they really shouldn't need to publicly disclose anything at all because it's in the publics best interest not to know that every appliance we own has the potential to defect in a way that could kill us.
I had a humble old school MP3 player that melted itself because for some bizarre reason it tried to charge the alkaline battery in it. Worse yet, the battery connectors were actually gold plated and managed to burn a series of parallel lines into my desk. If it had been set on a piece of paper and had been equally as unattended, I'd have likely set my desk alight.
It is stupid and dangerous. You forgot about the steering lock.
Why do they do this? Oh, because it's still possible to tow or push-start a vehicle and the point at which you cannot start your engine is long before you cannot power your instrumentation and thus deactivate your steering lock.
Um, that was my point. It was NOT within government regulations. It was illegal. And they paid the maximum fine allowed by law for it.