Minor Annoyances Part II: Bus Turn Signals

If you've driven in a North American city, you've probably noticed how transit buses indicate that they've stopped, or are about to stop, by turning on what on a passenger car would be called the hazard lights, or four-way flashers for you automotive engineers. When they're ready to move back into traffic, they use their standard turn signals. I'm not sure who the dim bulb that came up with this scheme is, but it has a fatal (sometimes literally so) flaw: the only way to tell whether or not you are about to be run off the road, er you need to yield to the bus is via a set of lights that you can't see because they're on the other side of the goddamned bus. I realize there's the issue of retrofitting thousands of buses and retraining both bus drivers and vehicle drivers, but it sure would be nice if we could separate (through blink rate, color, or a whole new set of lights) the "I'm stopping" signal from the "I'm changing lanes" signal.


Sad But True

Sabl's Law of U.S. Political Rhetoric: “No argument can succeed in American politics if it contains a subjunctive.”


The 10 Commandments of Simon

Boy does this hit close to home, if you go back a few years and replace "virgin" with "involuntarily single."


Parrot Rhythm N'Blue

This looks pretty cool. It's a car stereo that does the standard AM/FM/CD/MP3 business, plus it acts as a Bluetooth speakerphone. But wait, there's more! It will also stream MP3s from compatible cell phones. Sounds like a good replacement for my POS iPod-ready Alpine. Too bad I don't exactly have $300 burning a hole in my pocket.

Sony-Ericsson W800i (Verdict: Bad Ass)

My lovely and talented boyfriend got me this kick-ass phone as a Christmas present. Unfortunately due to the vagaries of getting expensive electronics into Canada (only to be taken back out), I didn't get it until just a few days ago. It's pretty well chock full of features: Bluetooth, 2MP camera, flashlight, FM radio, and a media player. The display is phenomenally clear, with crisp, snappy animations and no UI lag (unlike my previous phone, the very sexy but woefully-underpowered Siemens SL55). The camera is fully compatible with iPhoto, and the phone plays .m4a (AAC) files from iTunes. It doesn't play restricted .m4p files (like those purchased from the iTunes Music Store), but vee haff vays of getting around that. Battery life so far also looks excellent (again, in contrast to the SL55). And it's only about as big as an open SL55, and not much heavier.