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Mercedes uses LEDs and a Camera to make "invisible car" for marketing (youtu.be)
447 points by got2surf on Mar 3, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 93 comments



Mercedes really has a fantastic heritage of "hacking" the driving experience.

While other manufacturers have their own versions of modern safety tech, I've never seen it used as thoroughly across the lineup of cars as I do with Mercedes.

I bought a Mercedes for only one specific reason: It's very credibly the safest car I can put my family in that is also fun to drive. The safety tech on a commonly equipped Mercedes today is what you'll see on all cars in 5-10 years. Things like active blind spot assist -- If there's a car in my blindspot and I try to change lanes into it, the car will use the brakes on the leading side of the car to nudge me back into my lane. And active lane keeping assist -- it applies that same tech to prevent me going left of center if it thinks I'm drifting and not doing it intentionally. Attention assist -- it tracks my driving style and engagement and alerts me if I'm drifting off. Not to mention, just a lot of smart tech: Apply the brakes ever so slightly when it's raining to keep them dry. Seatbelt pretensioner's. And structural things -- an extra firewall in the engine compartment. More, stronger clasps on the hood. Many of these features are found on other makes. But as a package, combined with a fantastic 7 speed automatic and turbo charged 8cl engine, Mercedes sells a wonderful car.

Please excuse me for being such a fanboy!!!


An interesting video about a Google VP who was saved by his Mercedes car : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XXypu3dVPM


I'd appreciate a car that can moderately hit the breaks when it senses you approaching a stopped car.


Volvos (among others I presume, since this feature is 4 years old by now) do that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPO6iRetpyc


Only both Volvo [1] and Mercedes [2] both forgot to switch the system on for the press!

[1] http://youtu.be/QJ6z3IArINI?t=32s [2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBy78UJ081w


Thanks. Unless they were prototypes I don't understand why the system isn't always on, or at least difficult to turn off.


Actually this tech does exist on the S-Class (and presuably the CL as well).

Those cars are still a little beyond my grasp -- I had a C and now a CLS -- but the wonderful thing about this tech is watching it trickle down from the top of their range down through the $32,000 C Class.


What does "fun to drive" mean? I've heard it many times, but I've never been able to understand it, and I've driven a variety of cars.


I used to wash cars at a Mercedes lot, so I've driven a lot of Benzes. I think what makes them fun to drive is their responsiveness and power.

By responsiveness, I mean it takes only a light touch on the steering wheel to move it at low speeds, and a light touch on the throttle to get an impressive feeling of power.

They have a lot of steering lock, which means that you can turn the wheels pretty far to the left or right, allowing the car to be very maneuverable for it's size.

As for power - well, my daily driver is a 76 Toyota Corona. The Corona has the same smooth, comfortable ride as a Benz, but boy does it ever take a while to get moving, and it's very hard to maneuver at low speeds, like in parking lots.

My other vehicle is an 83 Kawasaki GPZ 305 - a very small displacement motorbike. It's very torquey, and from a standing start it can get up to highway speed very fast.

But once you're at highway speed, that's about as fast as it's going to go. If you find yourself riding abreast of an erratic driver in the lane beside you, with someone else behind you, you might want to accelerate away from them. As quick as the motorbike is at low speeds, it will take more seconds that you would like to drop the car beside you at highway speed.

In the benz, you can tap the pedal and pass like the other cars are standing still. And it still gets going from a standing start faster than most other cars on the road.

For the record, the car I'm thinking of when I say "the benz" is a current C300, or maybe a C63.


It's really a simple term used to describe a combination of factors that create the sense of pleasure on certain individuals. Though it is highly subjective, and varies from person to person.

Some people describe a car to be fun to drive when the performance of the vehicle matches their preferences. That is why you have a segment that enjoys Ford Mustangs for their straight-line acceleration (and calls them fun to drive), and you also have another segment that enjoys the Mazda Miata for its sport-tuned suspension, short tranmission gearing (which allows the engine to stay on the powerband with less effort), and low weight (and also calls them fun to drive).

There are a thousand different ways that a car can be fun to drive. Some are not even related in any way to the actual car, but to the sentimental value that the owner puts on the vehicle.

The most fun to drive car I've ever had was a sub-compact that barely had eighty-eight horsepower. Yet it did not consume much fuel. Such attibute pushed me to find how far I could go before needing to refuel. That alone made the car fun to drive.

The Mercedes owner above values the rich set of features that his vehicle has. He seems to enjoy knowing that his vehicle is highly equipped to whithstand and accident, and is even able to reduce the chances of one actually happen. Plus I bet he loves driving past store windows, and see himself driving such a fine automobile. I know I would. =)


> Though it is highly objective, and varies from person to person.

I think you meant subjective ;)


Yes, yes I do.

The more languages one speaks, the less one speaks one.

:D


It's a point on a subjective continuum of how responsive the car ui is. If cars are not your preferred tool, you likely don't care and won't notice differences that would stand out to a self identified 'driver'.

I like fountain pens. I process using a good steel or gold nib as a sensual satisfaction similar in degree (although not kind) to a good backscratch. Some pens are fun to write with. Some ... .


What fun to drive means to me:

I have a 2000 Mustang GT.

If you punch the throttle you hear a monster come out of the engine and set you back in your seat, you get this interesting feeling in your chest as you rapidly gain speed, and when you finally let off, the strangest thing happens: you smile.


Is it stock?


Nope. It has about 300HP at the wheels. It's super fun.


Do you like driving cars?

Cars that are 'fun to drive' for me (and it's a very subjective thing) are cars where I feel like I am a part of the car. As a driver, I'm encased in the vehicle. It does what I tell it to, how I tell it to do it. It can take corners just as fast as I like them; and I can feel the g's inside the corner.

tl;dr: I feel like I am the car


It's how they are tuned to be "fun". They might make the engines extra noisy for a second after you hit the throttle, so it makes an exciting "zrooom". Performance can vary with speed - at low speeds, after you've been driving a few minuets, they might go into racecar mode. At higher speeds, or when you are just starting driving, they'll re-tune for safety.

Basically, the car should "feel" responsive. When you change what you are doing (i.e. accelerating) it should respond with a lot of gusto. The trick is, not doing this when the driver doesn't want it.


It's subjective of course. My definition is responsive steering combined with a relatively stiff chassis/suspension setup so you can feel the road and how the car is performing.


Really? I find them generally bland. And I've driven quite a few things.


I agree, Benzes are a bit bland. They don't give you as much physical feedback as a BMW, they're not as low and stiff as a Porsche, they're not as light and agile as an 86 Corolla, they're not as quick as a Subaru.

But when you think about the fact that most people only drive a few cars in their lifetimes, and the first couple cars are something like a Honda Civic or a Mazda Protege, the first experience with a fine German automobile is going to be anything but bland.

Most people get new vehicles every five or ten years - I get a new car or bike every couple of months (I'm not rich, I just buy cheap and flip them for various reasons) and I worked at a dealership, so I'm just as familiar with the flaws of Benzes as the strong points. You must have a similar experience. We're just spoiled, is all.


Ok, fair enough. And there are times when you don't want much feedback.

What have you had lately that you liked?


I've been thinking about this quite a bit recently because I'm about to buy a car. Mini Coopers are another make with a ton of built-in computers. However, every time I do a search on reliability I find people talking casually about gigantic maintenance costs. I saw a used 1999 Mercedes SUV for $5K, googled it, and saw reviews where people were spending $4000 per year to maintain it -- and that was back in 1999 when it was new! Why spend $4000 yearly to maintain a $5000 vehicle? Might as well just buy a new one every year.

Similarly, you can usually pick up a Porsche Boxster for only around $10K once they hit the 50K miles mark, because Porsche recommends an expensive scheduled servicing at the 60K miles mark. I think it's about $12K. (In actuality the car doesn't need all the things they do in that service, just some subset.)

But still. It just offends me as an engineer that "better" cars have higher maintenance costs. If Mercedes is so much better at making cars than Honda, why can't it make cars that don't break? Honda makes cars that don't break. Why is the "best" car company out there unable to solve a technical problem that the "crappy" company solved twenty years ago?

Not trying to troll the Merc fanboys, it just gets my goat. I had basically given up on ever owning a nice car, because of sheer nerdrage, but I found out Honda's S2000 has a fantastic reputation for reliability. So that's my plan.

Please excuse the threadjack.


To be fair, I think perceptions about reliability trail 5+ years.

Mercedes and BMW had several years of severe quality control issues from, oh, late 90s to 2005-6. Not across every model, and not equally for both makes, but there's a lot of evidence of issues.

During that time, Honda and Toyota were making wonderfully reliable cars. But look at the recent toyotas.

Same story for American cars. The last few years Ford has been making cars w/ the fewest defects. But perception lags.

The good thing is, there are consumer reports and other agencies that track defects per 1000 cars. I've bought 2 Mercedes cars since 2007 and they both have ranked wonderfully on the consumer reports and, anecdotally, my ownership has been entirely free of defects.

I'm not sure what you mean about "4000 a year to maintain" a car that was brand new. Yes, I do have to have the oil changed yearly, and there are other maintenance tasks at normal intervals. But $4000 a year in maintenance on a Mercedes is fiction.


OK I haven't been able to find that $4K/year thing. It may have come from here:

http://www.edmunds.com/mercedes-benz/m-class/1999/consumer-r...

where the guy talks about spending $5K in one particular year, which appears to be the first year he had it.

likely an exaggeration on my part, mea culpa, but the reviews on that site are full of maintenance complaints:

http://www.edmunds.com/mercedes-benz/m-class/1999/consumer-r...

it's entirely anecdotal but I had a friend who had two BMWs and both were constantly in and out of the shop. this was a long time ago, though. ymmv (literally).


I used to be a professional auto mechanic (still work on cars for fun, though). Here is my take on your question(s).

Mini Coopers are cheap "premium" cars, in a sense that they are indirectly marketed as if they were mini BMWs (they are made by BMW), but they are just the equivalent of a volkswagen in terms of quality (which is pretty bad from professional experience). They are built using cheap parts, that are even too flimsy to even use (it is not an exageration, but actual experience).

Porsche is a brand that is driven by engineering, but engineering != reliability. Even though they have improved a lot in the last 5-6 years, they are not sold for their reliability, but for their performance. The Boxster is a specially good example of how not to build a cheap sports car when all you do is build premium sports cars. The best example of those shoddy quality of the Boxster (first generation) is the engine that self-destructed due to an improperly machined engine part (the case). Sadly, some 911 owners also got a bad engine with the 1999 model carrera equipped with the 3.4 engine (ddg it). The engine goes for about 12k when sourced from Porsche, not including installation.

Honda does not make cars that don't break. They have problems too. The Accord suffered from a defect in the engine block cylinders that cause it to warp the deck surface and thus make the car overheat (it required you to buy a new engine, because this was not serviceable). The S2000 has a transmission made out of glass (not really, but you get my point(it is prone to failure on the first, second and third gear grear set)).

Mercedes does have the ussual electronic gremlic (just like most European cars), because they have extremely short development cycles, and you just can't test so much stuff at once (they ship a lot of buggy hardware, if you will). One of my favorites is the C240 Kompressor, which had a supercharged engine that blew up if you used a fuel that did not meet the octane requirements. Why didn't Mercedes just let the computer retard the ignition timing to compensate for the lack of octane? Wait, they did! They just didn't do enough of it (they did not test it throughly, and they also used parts that could not withstand a simple engine backfire ( a backfire is more lethal on cars that use supercharger or turbochargers, as it sends an explosion through the intake manifold (where the supercharger/turbocharger intake is)))(this comment looks like LISP code).

tl;dr: cheap parts, cheap engineering and cheap testing that derive from extreme cost-cutting measures make most brands out there a russian roullette. Good for mechanics, but bad for owners. Though with European cars, its as if you were playing Russian roullette with two bullets instead of one.

PS.If you do get the S2000, install a transmission oil cooler to extend the life of the tramsission components. The later years with the 2.4 engine had stronger transmissions, but a lower readline (and less peaky powerband (something people loved about the first generation (because it felt like a motorcycle/F1 engine))).

=)


Illuminating.

A lot of the stories I've heard about Mercedes Qc issues in the first part of the last decade is oil related. That in some case, they had issues when they first changed to an annual oil change maintenance spec using conventional oil. Then, perhaps on different engines, they had issues when advising a 12k or 15k interval (can't remember which) on synthetic.

Seems they learned from the mistakes around 2006-7 and from that point forward their maintenance spec is strictly syn (mobile 1) on a 10k, 1yr change interval.

I had oil analysis done on my last change, a 5.5l v8, which I ran for about 11k miles, and the results were very good. The oil probably had another few thousand miles life in it. Not that I'd push it, it was just good to know I didn't have sludge after 11k miles.


The problem they had with the "oil" was not the oil, but the engine itself.

The engines had a coating applied to the cylinder walls that (theoretically) reduce frinction. Turns out the coating was a bad decision (it wasn't throughly tested (see a pattern?)), and they rolled back to their old way of building engines (which was pretty good).

I do think the 10k is not a problem with Mobil 1 synthetic. I've used that oil for about 15k on my own cars without complications.

If you want to learn more about the engine problems, you might want to ddg the words "mercedes benz nikasil".


Of course, it doesn't actually look invisible unless you're standing in exactly the right place. That is why the stationary shots at the beginning of the video look so much more "invisible" than the moving shots later in the video. If you pause on those later shots, you'll see that there are big discontinuities around the boundary of the car.

Thought experiment: imagine the car as a sheet of glass. Think of yourself standing at position A and looking at a point X on the glass. You see a position A' behind the glass. Now imagine moving to a position B and looking at the same point X on the glass. You see a different position B'. The LEDs don't know if you are at position A or B, so they can't know whether to show the light from A' or B'.


Do you really have to be such an extreme kill joy? I think anyone that watched the video would see the exact same thing we both saw, yes, it isn't perfect, yes if you aren't looked straight on you won't see it, but goddamnit if it isn't an awesome effect that is going to get people talking and will generate buzz for Mercedes and overall is an absolutely awesome way to advertise that your car looks "invisible" to the world it is driven in.


But parent is also right metaphorically. Once the car starts moving, consuming energy and filling traffic, it is not longer invisible to the world.


He's not a killjoy. It only works in the video. If you saw it on the street, at another place except directly in line, it would just look silly.


They use a deceptive camera angle to make it look like it works much better than it does in reality. As thoughtful people, what are we supposed to conclude about hydrogen fuel cells?

It's still a great ad, and I enjoyed it. Some of the secondary press coverage is terrible though (PC World: "Mercedes makes invisible car, tricky to find where you parked it"; says that if the invisibility isn't perfect, it's because the LED sheet is too low resolution.)


I actually really appreciated that comment, because I had forgotten about that and was thinking "wow, invisibility is way easier than I thought."


The same trick was used in the recent Mission Impossible movie. The device, which was controlled by an iPad (ha!), used eye tracking to adjust the image to look correct from the guards pov. And of course it failed when another person entered the room. I thought it was quite well done (though the real-time adjustment aspect seems very unlikely) but I wonder if what was happening was lost on most of the audience.

I was already familiar with the concept, I remember reading about invisibility cloak prototypes[1] in the early 2000s.

1: http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2003/03/58286


This could be worked around by making the LEDs more directional and taking input from an array of directional cameras on the other side (or presumably, a single Lytro camera per LED). I don't believe there's a fundamental difficulty in amelioration the problem of parallax.


Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol actually dealt with this tech in a semi-realistic way, and acknowledged the "only works from one viewing angle" problem. The invisible car in "Die Another day" ignored it.


Top Gear guys did something similar in its Top Gear at the Movies special a few months ago: http://youtu.be/cZBqq-UaK98?t=34s


Only tangentially related, but it really bugs me how these vehicles are being marketed as "zero-emissions" and being "invisible to the environment". Clearly the energy is being generated, and hence negatively impacting the environment, somewhere. It's just outright dishonest.


Not true. If the hydrogen is generated with renewable energies, driving a car such as the B-Class (Mercedes-Benz W245) shown in this video is in fact emission-free. A solar-powered hydrogen station was opened this week in Freiburg, relatively near to Mercedes-Benz's headquarters in Stuttgart:

http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/de/presse-und-medien/presseinfo... (in German -- sorry, no English translation available yet)

Honda R&D Americas has such a gas station in Torrence CA since 2001. I don't know if it's open to the public though. The one in Freiburg is public.


Fair enough but my point is that these vehicles are not "environmentally invisible". There is still significant environmental impact in the manufacturing, materials, transportation, supporting infrastructure and disposal of the car.


As a matter of fact, the vehicle itself is "zero-emissions" and "invisible to the environment".

I see your point, but first of all, it would be a very big step ahead if all the vehicles in cities wouldn't have toxic emissions.

And second, shifting the "dirty" part from the vehicles to big factories possibly makes the process more optimizable.

I agree that other form of energy should be researched, but any step in this direction is better than nothing.


It uses hydrogen, which is pretty hard to make and transport. If they actually wanted to be environmentally friendly (instead of just having the PR) they would use natural gas which already has a good transportation network.

Hydrogen is better PR since at the car there are no emissions. So which to choose? Better PR or better for the environment?


Natural gas is already really big in Europe, with a lot of cars driving on natural gas, so I am not so sure that adding Hydrogen to the mix would be that much more expensive.


Hydrogen would definitely be much more expensive. Hydrogen leaks, a LOT, it's really hard to contain and ship.

You would need a built a whole new infrastructure, and existing one for natural gas would not work.


That’s not even it. Natural gas is boring. Those cars are everywhere, they are nothing new or special.


You certainly can make cars with close to zero emissions. Solar energy via bio-fuel is one way, though there are some energy inputs required to make the fuel. A steam powered car that burns wood could possibly be more efficient in that sense however.


If a car manufacturer can create this technology as a marketing stunt, I'd be really interested to understand the (existing) military applications of "active cloaking."

It doesn't really make things completely invisible, but it sure does seem like excellent camouflage.


It only works if you're staring right at it though. Once you change the angle it looks very wrong.


Yeah, you really need something like they do in Mission Impossible 4 where it has a single target whose eye it's tracking, changing the perspective projection accordingly.


I wonder if you could use multi-faceted light emitters, capable of showing a different colour on each face. It wouldn't solve the issue completely but would definitely alleviate it!


I was actually just thinking about this. We're almost at the point now where you could reasonably package multiple LEDs into a multi-surface package, and do so relatively cost-effectively.

The other side (pun intended) of this problem, though, is that you'd also want to capture imagery from as many perspectives as you planned on reproducing, which is a slightly more involved packaging issue. ;)


You would need to emit at infrared and UV also. As soon as anyone started doing this it would be standard to check things in multiple frequencies.


Then you run into your next problem which is depth perspective which would be off if you're not at the right distance(notice how weird the kids dancing look when they move the camera in close).


Existing efforts have mostly been focused not on the visual portion of the spectrum, but on IR, since that's where military vehicles tend to stand out most starkly against the background.

Here's some links, which should give you some idea of what the performance is like:

http://defense-update.com/20110512_eltics_black_fox.html

http://defense-update.com/20110905_bae-adaptiv_camouflage.ht...


Looks like a primitive version of the invisibility cloak from several years back [1].

Am sure someone made a more advanced version of this after the James Bond film came out though. Lots of tiny cameras interleaved with led's covering the surface of the vehicle...

[1] http://science.howstuffworks.com/invisibility-cloak-news.htm


Funny thing, the tech used by Microsoft Surface utilises (pixel sense http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Surface-2-0-PixelSe...) the screen pixels as the cameras to capture the environmental data. Now, if you could combine that with the latest 3D tech they are pushing these days, the glasses free type, you could make a directional cloaking device with very little of the problems seen in the video.


The only glasses-free 3D tech I know of works by restricting the viewing angle of each of the two sets of pixels to such a small area that each eye gets a different set.

That would make the viable "invisible" view positions even more constrained than with the technique shown in the video.


Notice how the video is only 480 and not HD? I'm guessing it looks more impressive at low res since it's harder to see how low the "display" resolution is. Very cool but probably doesn't look as good in person.


Judging from the expression of those around it, I wouldn't be so sure.


Well, to be fair, I would probably be a bit surprised to see a car covered with LEDs, no matter what the LEDs were displaying.


given that they had a week of filming, and the ability to edit the resulting video, presenting the desired expressions would not be too difficult.


Assuming it's not actors, they were probably posing for their friends on the other side. Some of them are bound to be photogenic.

If you did it anywhere in East Asia, you'd have a line (or what passes for a line) of thousands of people waiting to pose.


In other news, people can be paid to appear surprised and delighted in a TV commercial. Ric Romero has more at 11.


I don't think the sarcasm is warranted. They could be actors, but they don't appear to be. The more likely explanation is that people think it's cool despite the low resolution. Do you know how many people would think it was straight-up voodoo if I just wrote a Node.js chat app and ran it for them?


The ad maker can also film people all day and cherry-pick the results. Tell people you're shooting an ad, give it enough time, and you'll even have people jumping up and down for chat.js.


I go to many music festivals and often take photos while I'm there. In 2-3 hours I'm pretty much always guaranteed to produce at least 10 awesome photos of people with little effort. People who want to be photographed find you and go out of their way to do something interesting for the camera.


This is a much more sophisticated version of something that's been tried off and on since 1943 — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffused_lighting_camouflage


I don't think you could really categorize it as the same thing; illumination does not refer to producing an image to match your background.


This is the same concept as the guy that made a halloween costume out of 2 ipad's[1]

yes it's nothing new but it's still damn cool and gets people talking.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6p5mbp_M98


This is nice, but it looks as the team making the video hasn't used "real" footage, instead adding a layer of video of over the LEDs to make the image cleaner. Some of the shots clearly show the LEDs though.


Note also that only one side of the vehicle has the cloaking. The other side is just ugly cameras and we can see that at the very end of the video (1:15).

It's not quite the invisibility cloak yet.


The technology seems pretty crude, but it's cool, nonetheless.


I think the most relevant question is, if you weren't looking for it, would you spot it? Right now it obviously draws a lot of attention to itself (hence using it as an advertisement). On the other hand, I didn't actually notice it in the first few images until it flickered. It might have some genuine applications in military and in surveillance; and if it does it's probably being used now without our knowledge.


Oh man, I had this idea ever since I saw "Die Another Day". Always wondered if it would work in real life - apparently, it does!


Did they figure out how to make one without putting a half a million dollars worth of platinum in it yet?


[deleted]


When I first saw that phrase while watching the video, I thought to myself: "I bet the top-voted comment is a pedantic reaction to that."


I think you're taking "artistic freedom" a bit too literally. It's meant to inspiring and show their goals and mission. I don't think they have the intention of deceiving anyone into believing the car is actually invisible to the environment.


I agree completely, it's not "really" environmentally invisible, and a shift towards mass transit would be much more environmentally friendly.

I visited family in London this summer, and I was amazed by the efficiency of mass transit. Here in the States, I live in a suburb of a suburb of Orlando, and I can't get anywhere without having to drive 20 minutes. What a waste of both time and resources.


How fair is it to compare a medium-sized city in Florida with one of the largest metropolitan areas in the UK?


Probably not completely fair but... have you visited Orlando recently? Literally no public transport at all (ok, there's Lynx, but that's too nightmarish to really include). Sure, Orlando's not as large a metropolitan area, but with the amount of tourism we get from Disney, you'd expect a slightly more developed infrastructure.

But point taken, probably not the best comparison to make.


[deleted]


This is only bad if your real goal is pushing the specific car. If you're more concerned with brand awareness, or being remembered as innovative or creative or doing something unexpected, this type of commercial can be very effective. I'll definitely remember that it's Mercedes. I'll bet a lot of people on HN remember the Darth Vader kid was in a VW commercial, even though they may not remember which car it was an ad for or what the car looked like. They probably know that the talking baby is in an eTrade commercial, even though they might not remember what he was talking about.

But I'll agree with you that it is really easy to waste your marketing dollars on these commercials if the message isn't somehow making the viewer remember the brand. The ones that just celebrate the creativity of the ad firm ARE terrible; I just don't think this was an example of that.


Similarly Honda's Cog advert is frequently given as an example of a an advert that did a great job of changing a company's public image.


I can't believe I've never seen that. Very, very cool.


this is the camo built into Major Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell!


Panther Modern Wheels


What's the song?


OMG I hope they bring it to burning man.


I don't want to sling mud at Ycombinator here .. but something is a bit fishy. This is currently the top voted article on HN, but it has only 300 views on Youtube (and 1100 likes - wtf).

Please tell me this isn't a paid spot - mercedes trying to infiltrate an early adopter set. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but that would compromise everything about HN that we love.


Thats a known bug on youtube.Videos show 304 views initially for quite some time.(The like count however seems accurate and this video has around 1700 likes)

In fact to verify, you can watch the video yourself 5 times and see if the view count changes from 304.


Here's the support article from google which describes why viewcounts become frozen around the 300 mark:

http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&an...


I submitted this, and definitely wasn't paid by YT/YC/Mercedes to do so :P


Thanks for the link. Knew it had to be something like that.




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