I've done plenty of live demos in my life, and it's always a bit scary as you hope that everything goes right. You practice and you practice and you practice, but you never know what might come up at the last minute -- especially if you've been unable to practice at the actual demo site. It's always good to have a backup plan (or three), but sometimes things just go wrong. When the thing that goes wrong is the very feature you're trying to demo, though, it looks especially bad. While we're all used to hearing stories about computer and software crashes during demonstrations, Digg points us to a story about how Mercedes wanted to show off their new radar-based braking system that's supposed to help avoid car accidents. They brought in a bunch of TV cameras and reporters, only to create a three car pileup. The problem? The radar was confused by the steel walls of the demo site. Yup. Should have practiced at the site earlier. Preferably in a way that wouldn't smash up three relatively expensive vehicles.
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