Driver Blames GPS For Driving On Railroad Tracks, Getting Hit By Train

from the common-sense? dept

What is it about turning on a GPS system that makes people lose just about any bit of common sense they may have had? Last year, we wrote about a woman who blamed her GPS device for getting her into a train accident. You see, the GPS device told her to go straight, even though there was a gate blocking the train tracks. Now we've got a similar case. As pointed out by the folks over at the Tech Liberation Front, a California man who was in New York for work, and driving a rental car, apparently turned onto the railroad tracks for the MetroNorth line because his GPS told him to turn. To his credit, the guy eventually realized that maybe the tracks weren't where he was supposed to turn, but he was unable to get his rental Ford Focus to reverse back down the tracks. At that point he "abandoned" the car, leaving it for the next train to hit. At least the MetroNorth spokesperson seems to have a sense of humor about the whole thing. When talking about how the guy tried to warn the oncoming train, he deadpanned: "He tried to stop the train by waving his arms, which apparently was not totally effective in slowing the train." Not totally effective indeed. When noting that the driver worked in the computer field, the spokesman also noted: "One computer brain listening to another." Time to reprogram some of the logic, however.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Iron Chef, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 7:39pm

    The challenge...

    Hey Mike, I was waiting to see you post this for a few days now.

    So here's the deal- The GPS doesn't drive the car. The Person Does. A GPS is a tool to assist a person, much like a map. So GPS data is usually sourced from the USGS TIGER system and local municipalities which typically submit the data once a year and compiled by NavTech or TeleAtlas. Because of logistics, it takes at least a year for the data to get to NavTech or TeleAtlas.

    So the owner of the GPS should perform due diligence, and purchase an update (Which is synonymous with buying a new map) yearly to have the most current information.

    Also, a person with common sense should still drive the car, not blindly follow directions from a GPS!

    If a GPS told me to turn onto a train track, something would tell me I'm in the wrong place, and turn around... FAST. But that's just me.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    not angrydude, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 7:41pm

    I like trains. Toot toot!

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Rizwan, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 8:24pm

    Guns don't kill people, people do.

     

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  4.  
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    still here, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 8:29pm

    gps and trains

    the guy must of been using a TomTom 910.....mine does that all the time...it must have a grudge against me......

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Rachael, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 8:41pm

    GPS control

    Wow, yea usually when my gps says turn left into a wall I tend to wait until the next road than turn. The fact that most GPS Systems have a 300 foot delay really bugs me. Especially when the road is not named or marked well enough.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Train Lost Again, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 8:53pm

    Train 0 - GPS 1

    Train lost again.... better luck next time....


    I always root for the train...

    better luck next time

     

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  7.  
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    Christine, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 9:16pm

    You've got to be kidding me

    So the bone-jarring thumping from driving over rows of tracks was not clue enough to this individual that the "road" he was on was not meant for a car??

    I think there is just entirely too much idiocy behind the wheel. Both of these individuals should have their licenses revoked for being incapable of making sound decisions!

     

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  8.  
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    ExcuseMe?, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 9:17pm

    train wreck

    I am so sorry for death and injury on the railroad tracks. But I just don't understand how it happens. An exception might be a foot trapped under a rail, or an auto collision over the tracks where passengers are unable to open doors. But for the 99.9 remainder of RR accidents, why don't we see and hear the train coming? If a person is deemed eligible to drive an auto, we have to assume they are able to observe road hazards.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Hellsvilla, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Train 0 - GPS 1

    Train lost? Did you not see the car?

    The train won man... the train ALWAYS wins.

     

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  10.  
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    JoJo, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 9:28pm

    Rediculous

    This is a wake up call for people to drive looking out their windshields instead of staring at their GPS screens.

     

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  11.  
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    stu, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 9:33pm

    well...

    I've had a cheapy GPS system thats tried to direct me the wrong way before, and then tells me to pull into the central reservation of a bypass (UK) and do a u-turn, even though there are about 500 signs prohibiting it!

     

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  12.  
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    Graham R. Police, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 10:09pm

    re: gps and trains

    "guy must of been using"? What does that mean?
    I must have missed something...

     

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  13.  
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    steve ballmer, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 10:17pm

    HE'S RIGHT!

    More and more we totally rely on technology without thinking! That is what the technology is for! This man was only doing exactly what he should have been doing, the only thing he did wrong was to rely on non-microsoft software!

    http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com

     

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  14.  
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    Squidly, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 10:40pm

    Re:

    "Guns don't kill people, people do."

    Let me make a correction to this.

    Guns (or Trains) don't kill people, STUPID people get themselves killed and cause severe harm to those around them not smart enough to spot the really stupid ones and move out of the way!!

    ;-)

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    LBD, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 11:38pm

    AI

    Artificial Intelligence is no match for Actual Stupidity

     

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  16.  
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    Ron (profile), Jan 5th, 2008 @ 12:10am

    Re: Re: Train 0 - GPS 1

    Oh, not so bad. lick o' paint here 'n there

     

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  17.  
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    Pete, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 1:11am

    I wonder how long it will be before some state decides to make using GPS while driving illegal like they have done with cellphones

     

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  18.  
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    Kubrick fan, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 2:16am

    Re: gps and trains

    perhaps HAL was giving directions

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 3:05am

    Since the Y2K issue, where IT firms got first taste of the money associated with "Panic", "Fear", and "protect the customer, cuz otherwise they'll return a mp3 player with pr0n on it... The IT industry has been benefactors of new law and legislation which end up shoving new software down consumers and company's throats. SOX, HIPAA, Basel II, PCIDSS, TrustedComputing (read: Vista)

    Ya, dis has nothing to do about GPS, but it makes you wonder if the "HAL" is really giving the directions!

     

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  20.  
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    State Trooper, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 3:21am

    They Shouldn't Be Driving

    Driving is a skill, and it requires a clear mind. It also requires a modicum of intelligence, and that's why there are some people who should never be behind the wheel of a car. I don't care if they've got a PhD and four other degrees. Diplomas don't indicate intelligence or common sense.

    A uniform screening of new drivers would benefit this country immensely. If someone can't pass the screening, they would be required to take a driver education course that would last six months or more. And, they would have to pay for it - no state subsidies here.

     

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  21.  
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    Martin, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 4:38am

    Natural Selection

    Its great to see natural selection still in action. There is hope for our species yet.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re:

    Just to make another correction:

    Guns Don't Kill People Rappers Do ;-)

     

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  23.  
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    Liquid Amazing, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 5:36am

    Neverlost

    It was a rental car...must have been from Hertz with one of those Neverlost systems. She has such a sexy voice...I know men who would do ANYTHING she asks! Hilarious!

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Daniel, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 5:47am

    Tele Atlas actually uses special camera vans to ch

    I know folks that work at Tele Atlas. Apparently they have these mobile mapping vans that drive routes to validate the data. My understanding is also that they have a way to collect data from users of the GPS devices which closes the time loop for correcting errors more quickly.

    We bought a Tom Tom based upon their recommend and it has worked pretty well. Sure, not 100%, but their data seems better than the competition from my use.

     

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  25.  
    icon
    The Arbiter (profile), Jan 5th, 2008 @ 6:35am

    Re: AI

    Oh My God! You should have included a spew warning. LOL, That was the funniest thing I have seen this morning.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    BlazingSaddles, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 6:50am

    GPS

    Our society now has to have something to blame their inept abilities, and stupidity on. I am surprised he had enough brains to get out of the car before the train hit it. These trains usually swerve to hit cars, duhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

    My main question would be, Why does anyone need a GPS to drive a car? Are people getting dumber, or just leaving their brains in their other pants? If you can not think for yourself and decide where you need to go, don't walk or drive, NO GPS NEEDED if you have a brain, with the possible exception of on the Oceans of the world.

    I guess like animals, some humans need a leash to keep track of them, and that is all GPS does is keep track of the dumb ones.

     

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  27.  
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    Jiggiddy, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 7:55am

    Guns don't kill People Bullets do!!!!

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    dijital, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 8:56am

    Re: The challenge...

    No s***, really? What that man did sounded perfectly sensible to me.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Aaron, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: The challenge...

    It was perfectly sensible to TURN ON to a train track?

    I think not.

    The perfectly sensible thing to do is to notice that your GPS is asking you to turn on to tracks and say no thanks, and keep going.

    Not to turn on to said tracks and then realize you'd screwed up.

    Course that's me being sensible.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 9:25am

    So he's a California man, eh?

    I get it now. He must have guessed the railroad tracks were the shoulder!

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Mikey, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 9:33am

    Why do I always manage to get behind these brainless drivers every morning on the Interstate?!!

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    ed, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 9:48am

    technology and psycology

    Hey Mike, I was waiting to see you post this for a few days now.

    So here's the deal- The GPS doesn't drive the car. The Person Does. A GPS is a tool to assist a person, much like a map. So GPS data is usually sourced from the USGS TIGER system and local municipalities which typically submit the data once a year and compiled by NavTech or TeleAtlas. Because of logistics, it takes at least a year for the data to get to NavTech or TeleAtlas.

    So the owner of the GPS should perform due diligence, and purchase an update (Which is synonymous with buying a new map) yearly to have the most current information.
    >>>>>>
    Also, a person with common sense should still drive the car, not blindly follow directions from a GPS!

    If a GPS told me to turn onto a train track, something would tell me I'm in the wrong place, and turn around... FAST. But that's just me.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 10:56am

    GPS causing accidents.

    By the same logic, listening to FM or Ipod in your car could land someone in an accident.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 11:10am

    In the words of Bugs Bunny..."What a ma-roon"

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    MapBoy, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 11:47am

    Terrain and Map

    "When the map doesn't match the terrain, believe the terrain"

     

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  36.  
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    Chuck, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    Re: GPS causing accidents.

    Sure! Haven't you heard Beyonce's Irreplaceable?

     

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  37.  
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    Unknown Coward, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 2:01pm

    Geesh, what a dunce.

     

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  38.  
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    Joe Smith, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 2:09pm

    mmmm.... So if a GPS tolled a guy to drive off a cliff would he do it?

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Cuyes, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 2:28pm

    Re:

    I don't think he would drive off a cliff, but I'm sure he would jump if he read "tolled" instead of "told" duuuuhhhhhh

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Dean Maier, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 2:37pm

    Re:GPS Causing Accidents

    I travel all over North America for work and rely heavily on my GPS to "help" me get around. When people start to listen verbatim to what their GPS is telling them and they listen with blind faith that they are supposed to turn onto train tracks, over cliffs, down goat paths to never be seen again, it's natures way of sorting out the stupid from the herd.

     

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  41.  
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    dualboot, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 3:59pm

    the Office...

    This reminds me of an episode of "The Office," in which Michael turns right where he is, instead of at the road 50 feet ahead... and drowns the car in a pond. I only found it hilarious because I didn't think a human that stupid actually existed... I thought they were exaggerating possible stupidity... not predicting it! Indy heavily on my GPS when going to unfamiliar or distant places, because it helps me know when to start looking for a street, but when it says to turn, I still look at the street signs to make sure it's the correct one... guess everyone doesn't put that much faith in their mental abilities.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Iron Chef, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Tele Atlas actually uses special camera vans t

    I know folks that work at Tele Atlas. Apparently they have these mobile mapping vans that drive routes to validate the data. My understanding is also that they have a way to collect data from users of the GPS devices which closes the time loop for correcting errors more quickly.

    We bought a Tom Tom based upon their recommend and it has worked pretty well. Sure, not 100%, but their data seems better than the competition from my use.


    A lot of effort goes into compiling, maintaining and "mashing up" the GIS data. Some of it is from the Government, local, state, or national authorities such as planning and public works, some from public sources, others by drive testing. In the case of Google Maps, there's images and geodata brought in by the likes of NASA, DigitalGlobe, et al.

    For example, have you ever wondered why your GPS thinks the interstate ends in 1/2 mile, then when you cross a magic spot, it says to keep going on the interstate for another 10 miles? Chances are, this is where one set of data merged with another.

    So there's a lot of small pieces that contribute to the whole, and local-level data dependencies that maybe aren't shared with GIS companies like NavTech and TeleAtlas, and the process relies heavily on MapInfo. Once you have the map polygons, vector files can be cut, and POI data can be added.

     

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  43.  
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    Need a Second Opinion, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 4:42pm

    Lost Highway

    Where's Dorpus???

     

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  44.  
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    Ron, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re: Tele Atlas actually uses special camera va

    For example, have you ever wondered why your GPS thinks the interstate ends in 1/2 mile, then when you cross a magic spot, it says to keep going on the interstate for another 10 miles? Chances are, this is where one set of data merged with another.

    It does that because the interstate splits to another interstate or main highway.

    This story is hysterical and sad to say the least. What a moron.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Casey, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 5:37pm

    Let's fix the problem -

    Send this to your local DPS office and suggest an idiot test be added to the license testing requirements. Obviously, their eyesight is fine. It is how the brain processes the information seen.

     

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  46.  
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    zomg random person, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 6:15pm

    My GPS tells me to burn things.

     

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  47.  
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    sozo19, Jan 5th, 2008 @ 9:29pm

    I agree with the comments that GPS users need to use common sense when relying on the device for direction… However, there may be times when you think the GPS is wrong when indeed it is correct. Over the Christmas holidays I drove west to Nebraska for a visit family so brought my new Garmin along for the ride. I figured it would be useful since they had moved since my last visit. My father lives out in the country (which is any part of Nebraska really); as I got close to the destination I was directed by the GPS to exit the highway and drive down a dirt road. After driving down the road a bit I found however that it dead ended into the middle of a field, obviously something was wrong with the GPS map. After some time trying to figure out how to get around this field I eventually arrived. When I relayed this story on to my father however he started laughing hysterically. Apparently the locals do use this field as a road. He later showed me where a railroad crossing had been built which appeared to be placed between the middle of two corn fields. It even had the standardized railroad crossing road signs posted. Beware of Mill/Dodd Rd in Crawford NE http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Crawford,+NE,+United+States+of+America&ie=UTF8&ll=42.713 029,-103.42289&spn=0.026613,0.065746&t=p&z=14&om=0

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Robert C. Lang, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 1:15am

    Cell phones, Driving, and GPS and Deadly Combinati

    Curious. Was the driver on a cell phone?

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Leans_To_Center, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 3:34am

    GPS has loads of bright ideas

    GPS gets really lost here in Sydney sometimes, you can tell when it's beginning to struggle when it says things like "Make a U-Turn whenever possible" followed by "in 200m continue straight" when all I'm doing is sitting waiting for the lights to change!

    I personally find it great for getting places but you still need to know how to drive in the first place, and that includes road signs!

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 3:42am

    they need one of these in every car, that way more stupid people will get what's coming to them - a train

     

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  51.  
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    widepart, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 6:03am

    GPS 'N TRAINS

    This tale reminds me of all the stories about people who put their motor home into "cruise control" and leave the driver's seat to go to the kitchen area to make a sandwich. As the stories go; they then sue the dealers for not telling them they must be in control the motor home at all times.

    Does the evolution of the human brain seem to be in a backwards spiral? Or has humanity always had people who are proving that evolution of "thought" hasn't kept up with the evolution of the body.

     

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  52.  
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    MEoip, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 6:08am

    Wife (ex)

    My GPS got me lost on the way to divorce court so I was late, lost my kids and the house. Should I sue?

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 6:36am

    It really wasn't the GPS' fault, it just wanted to be put out of its misery for being installed in a Ford Focus. I'd want to die too if I had to ride around in one of those...

     

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  54.  
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    Coaster, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 6:51am

    Whatever happened to reading a map?

     

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  55.  
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    inc, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 6:58am

    your GPS hates you and wants to kill you

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    GPS_R_EVIL, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 7:50am

    GPS

    Anyone see The Office episode where the GPS sends Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute into a lake? Hilarious. As the car submerged the GPS said, "You have arrived at your destination"

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 8:39am

    Re: GPS

    first thing i thought of.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 8:40am

    Re: Wife (ex)

    some people just have no sense of direction. i see why she left you

     

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  59.  
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    wnyght, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Wife (ex)

    now that was just mean!

     

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  60.  
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    Incredulous, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 11:13am

    Lame brains

    My buddy was headed for the KC airport in his rental and, while talking to me on his cell phone, followed the GPS directions to a gas station in a ghetto. He stopped anyhow, 'cause the machine said to, and later he told me he barely got out alive. There were obvious thugs hanging around who immediately hit him up for cash, which he gave them to get away!

    He's never had that much sense anyhow, though.

     

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  61.  
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    Querelle, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 11:44am

    train always won

    Better be kidding me......bad train, bad train

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    David, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 12:15pm

    Michael Scott anyone?

    Sounds like what Michael Scott did in "The Office" where he drove into a lake because it said take a right, not bear right.

    IMPOSTER? POSER? ACTOR? or just a freaking tard?

     

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  63.  
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    jthorn, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 12:37pm

    maybe the train was using gps and it was on the wrong track..

     

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  64.  
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    Walt, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 12:52pm

    Sometimes you do drive up the tracks....

    I used to have to go to a warehouse to pick up auto parts, and to get there, you actually DO drive up the railroad tracks. There's asphalt between the tracks, and on either side, but I think a train could still use the tracks.

    The first time the warehouse guy told me how to get there, he had to really work to convince me to look for a set of tracks and drive up them!

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 1:57pm

    Anyone who turns on to train tracks because some device tells him to should have his licence revoked permanently because he's too stupid to be on the road and should also be sterilised to stop him breeding to help improve the gene pool.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 2:13pm

    Re: GPS

    Anyone see The Office episode where the GPS sends Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute into a lake? Hilarious. As the car submerged the GPS said, "You have arrived at your destination"
    _____

    Sorry, I haven't seen The Office since Jeff "da Sucker" Zucker pulled it from iTunes. Thanks, Zucker! I bet the script the writers worked on made it as funny as you wanted it to be.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Kentucky, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 2:21pm

    This is the reason....

    that every time I get in my Camry I have to "Agree" to not blame Toyota if I pay too much attention to the GPS and get in a wreck. Kill the lawyers....Kill them all...

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    VenusCloacina, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: GPS

    @Anonymous Coward: It's all about identity politics. Jeff Zucker is the lonely voice of fat, ugly, unfunny guys everywhere. You see him rollin', you be hatin'. Why you gotta be hatin'? THAT'S JUST HOW THE MAN ROLLS!

     

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  69.  
    icon
    technofear (profile), Jan 6th, 2008 @ 5:59pm

    Automated Trains

    'There are limits to everything, except stupidity...'

    I am working to automate iron ore trains, the longest (>3.5Km) and heaviest (>50K tonnes) trains in the world.

    Luckily they are out in the middle of nowhere, at least a 24 hour drive from the nearest city.

    They take over 2Km to stop from 80Kmh.

    If one runs you over, it will not notice or stop.....

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 6:35pm

    Re:

    That's dangerous to our gene pool.

    We need diversity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Its the 21st century, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 7:45pm

    Enough of this crap...

    You know I am getting very tired of all this crap about drunk drivers, GPS systems that have the wrong directions. I remember a story about a Japanese car maker who added a sensor for testing the alcohol content in the driver's sweat when he touched the shifter and if it was too high the car would be disabled.

    Here's the link: http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/08/06/nissan.alchol.detection.reut/index.html

    And plenty of stories about GPS excuses - hell I was a passenger in a car when the driver almost turned down a one-way street because the GPS said so.

    Enough is enough - why don't we just make cars drive themselves - if they can put all this technology in a car to prevent you from driving while drunk or GPS systems, oh and there's the car that can parrallel park... then might as well let it do all the driving - at least then people could get more work done on the commute. Spend more time with the family on vacations driving wherever. Its time.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Michael McMannus, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 8:33pm

    Re: Enough of this crap...

    So the GPS took precedence over the driver's ability to read signs that say "This is a One Way Street"?

    Hmmm.. Seems like you need a new chauffeur.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    pingmaster, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Enough of this crap...

    it's in the works. A couple of car companies (lexus and mercedes) are testing cars that have cameras that can detect where the white and yellow lines are and keep you in between them. Beyond that, there have been proposals for RFID-based systems, where all the roads, intersections etc are marked with RFID tags and the cars read them on the fly, telling their position from them. an X-Prize competition recently had a bunch of SUV's in a simulated urban area where they had to perform certain tasks (left and right turn, traffic lights, simulated pedestrians, parking etc) and obey all traffic laws while doing so. The problem we will face is that a) the technology is very immature, so no government will allow it yet and b) the cost to 'tag' every road, even just highways and major urban areas, is immense; far more than any municipal government or company would want to foot without some REALLY good reason. like another city doing it and saying that automated cars are so much more efficient and NEVER get into accidents.

    Chances are, the benefits will never be enough for anyone to foot the bill to implement it, though it is technically possible.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Rusty Shackleford, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 9:29pm

    GPS follower

    Tech-Head or Gear Head...... I guess we all can't be both... Maybe GPS operation should be part of the drivers test.... on second thought... the drivers test dosn't seem to make much of a differance anyway... Hope he is not the guy who put the cruise control on in the motorhome and went for a nap!!!

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Iron Chef, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 9:34pm

    ITS and TDM necessary...

    For a large scale implementation, I imagine it would require a roll out of ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) and TDM (Traffic Demand Management).

    This was tried several years ago in Germany for the Autobahn... With big hitters such as Lucent, Dahlmer Christer, Deutsche Telecom, and consultant friends (read: star performers fresh out of College without practical experience) from Booz Allen Hamilton. The project got nowhere, and DT, at least, ended up charging it to the balance sheet in the right column.

    Probably one of the best worldwide implementations of TDM and ITS is actually stateside... In Colorado (Can you believe it). It must be a monster to maintain because of the snow-- it causes potholes and break in-road connections to TDM/ITS sensors.

    So if you want to perform certain tasks such as turning, it may be best to move to Colorado. They seem to have a lot of things going right.

    I hear they are also a major hub for content distribution, and have one of the most educated workforces in the US, lower cost of living in relationship to NYC or Los Angeles. Quality of life ranks in the top too.

    Hmmm.. Maybe I should start get some of my Billionare friends together and start a full blown movie studio in Denver. Sounds crazy, but there is a tax stiphon on the books for that. http://www.metrodenver.org/

    I love the fact that I put on a wikipedia article that Denver was on 105 meridian a few months ago, and now they are using it in their marketing efforts. :-)

    One-Bounce Satellite - Denver is the largest U.S. city to offer one-bounce satellite uplinks that provide real-time connections to six out of seven continents in one business day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Iron Chef, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 9:35pm

    ITS and TDM necessary...

    For a large scale implementation, I imagine it would require a roll out of ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) and TDM (Traffic Demand Management).

    This was tried several years ago in Germany for the Autobahn... With big hitters such as Lucent, Dahlmer Christer, Deutsche Telecom, and consultant friends (read: star performers fresh out of College without practical experience) from Booz Allen Hamilton. The project got nowhere, and DT, at least, ended up charging it to the balance sheet in the right column.

    Probably one of the best worldwide implementations of TDM and ITS is actually stateside... In Colorado (Can you believe it). It must be a monster to maintain because of the snow-- it causes potholes and break in-road connections to TDM/ITS sensors.

    So if you want to perform certain tasks such as turning, it may be best to move to Colorado. They seem to have a lot of things going right.

    I hear they are also a major hub for content distribution, and have one of the most educated workforces in the US, lower cost of living in relationship to NYC or Los Angeles. Quality of life ranks in the top too.

    Hmmm.. Maybe I should start get some of my Billionare friends together and start a full blown movie studio in Denver. Sounds crazy, but there is a tax stiphon on the books for that. http://www.metrodenver.org/

    I love the fact that I put on a wikipedia article that Denver was on 105 meridian a few months ago, and now they are using it in their marketing efforts. :-)

    One-Bounce Satellite - Denver is the largest U.S. city to offer one-bounce satellite uplinks that provide real-time connections to six out of seven continents in one business day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Rusty Shackleford, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 9:51pm

    GPS

    Lucky for him GM is working towards cars that drive themselves... But they are ten years away yet... Lets Hope they can work faster

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Iron Chef, Jan 6th, 2008 @ 10:40pm

    Re: ITS and TDM necessary...

    The project got nowhere, and DT, at least, ended up charging it to the balance sheet in the right column.

    Err Left Column...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Ivan, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 5:17am

    Re: Re: Train 0 - GPS 1

    Fake pic man, thats a right hand driver, toyota maybe, def not a focus from harlem! ;)

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    T Crump, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 5:31am

    THe drivers head was where?

    Give me a break. How stupid can one be. If he would have been listening to the GPS he would have ran of the road long before he got to the tracks. THis is another case of a motorist driving with their head up their behind.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    dan, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 5:43am

    Re: The challenge...

    GPS's at best are within 1 meter (10 yards) if you have one that is WAAS enabled. (Wide Area Augmentation System) if not 25 meter (27 yards) now add that the maps and USGS Tiger is plus or minus 10 meter (depending on where, and signals bounce of buildings further degrading accuracy ... you can be off by a block or more come be smarter that the box on the dash.... or at least know how it works...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    dan, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 5:44am

    Re: The challenge...

    GPS's at best are within 1 meter (10 yards) if you have one that is WAAS enabled. (Wide Area Augmentation System) if not 25 meter (27 yards) now add that the maps and USGS Tiger is plus or minus 10 meter (depending on where, and signals bounce of buildings further degrading accuracy ... you can be off by a block or more come be smarter that the box on the dash.... or at least know how it works...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous KC Coward, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 6:10am

    Re: Lame brains

    Incredulous (comment 60), that's astonishing! I'm from KC, and the airport is almost up in Omaha, nowhere near any bad areas of town!

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Reverend Davidius, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 7:01am

    Re: Joe Smith

    No, if GPS asked the driver to stop and insert 25 cents before driving off the cliff, s/he'd likely say fuck that and turn around

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    You never know, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 7:46am

    Oooooooooo, just missed a new Darwin award recipient.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 8:51am

    Am I only one who finds it funny that he tried to stop the train by waving his arms at it. I think the fact that he did that really emphasizes his level of intelligence and really emphasizes why he turned on to the track in the first place.

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Gene Wirchenko, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 3:21pm

    On the Road with a GPS System

    I have seen various writeups on the joys of GPS systems used in driving. They have been brief. This writeup goes into much more detail and details more than one risk. I wrote this in June of 2006 and have lightly edited it.

    I am a Canadian citizen, but I then lived in Bellingham, WA, USA and work near it. At the beginning of April 2006, I went to visit my mother who was then living in Greenwood, BC, Canada. At the car rental place, because neither of the cars available was acceptable -- perfumed cleaners are a non-computer risk some face -- and because I am a frequent customer, I was upgraded at no extra cost to a SUV, a SUV with a GPS navigator: the NeverLost system. I did not get lost, but that was not entirely due to the device.

    I lost little time in starting to play with this new toy.

    I found it interesting all of the streets that were nearby. Unfortunately, sometimes, the names were truncated, and in at least one case, the truncated name made sense as a word. I did not see any way to adjust the magnification.

    I saw that I could ask for a course to my mother's. Unfortunately, the interface was a bit confusing and rather than selecting the city of Greenwood, BC (the smallest incorporated city in Canada), I accidentally selected the then-current city and a street. There is a street named Greenwood in Bellingham. There is also one in Lynden (near to Bellingham). I found myself being directed to the south. My mother's home was north and east. The device was quite persistent: "Please proceed to the designated route." Later, it got desperate, words to the effect of "When legal, please make a U-turn." I finally shut it off.

    I tried again later, and it worked, mostly. My mom lived on Kimberley Street. It is one of, if not the, longest street in Greenwood. The device did not know its name. It did know many of the other streets, including the cross-street by my mom's then-home. The cross-street is two short blocks long. I finally programmed the device for the city centre of Greenwood.

    I crossed the border at Sumas. I then proceeded to Hope. While on the way, at one point I glanced at the display to see that a road was displayed to the right. This was disconcerting as that was where a cliff was. The road turned out to deadend. I think it was a deactivated road, possibly the old highway.

    I usually stop at a certain gas station in Hope to buy a sandwich and drink. In that area, there are under- and over-passes. The device got confused. It got its revenge shortly. When I restarted the SUV, I looked at the display and was confused. The USA operates on the Imperial system of measure, and Canada uses the metric system. The device, recognising that it was in Canada, had switched to metric. When I looked more closely, I could see the miles display. It was rather smaller than the digits.

    The gas station is on the old highway which parallels the current highway. To get onto the current highway involves a few tight turns. Some of these, the device knew and some it did not. I was directed to make turns when there was no other road, but sometimes, the curve had no instructions. This also happened when I left Keremeos, BC.

    The device warns about 2 Km before a turn and then just before. The turnoff for the Hope-Princeton Highway had already diverged from the main highway by nearly one lanewidth before the device announced the just before warning that I should turn. I was already in the correct lane. Had I not been in the correct lane, I could not have safely switched.

    Not long after, I looked at the time display. As it was just after noon, I could not tell whether it was the time I would arrive in Greenwood or the time left before I would arrive in Greenwood. Later, I found that that detail was documented on the card that was dangling from the unit, but many other things were not.

    While driving on the Hope-Princeton Highway, I found that many roads that had no names were on the display, but that some roads that had names were not present.

    The Hope-Princeton Highway does run through wilderness, and in many places, there are no other roads nearby. That did not stop the device from telling me three times each way to "Proceed to the designated route." The voice is a bit startling when it is not expected.

    Glancing from time to time at the time-to-go display, I got suspicious. It seemed to be assuming 80 Km/h. This is the default highway speed in BC, but the Hope-Princeton Highway is known for being rather curvy in places. It has plenty of signs suggesting slower speeds. At one place, the advisory is 20 Km/h. In the summer, one can go bombing along much of the highway. In the winter, the curves get more dangerous, and you had better slow to 20 Km/h on the worst curve. This was near the end of breakup, so conditions could vary considerably? What was the device assuming?

    Princeton is at the west end of "The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen". The device displayed this from time to time clipped to "Okanagan-Similkameen Region". Much of this time, it displayed this next to the road on the other side of the Similkameen River. There was no differentiation of region or city names from street names. That road across the river is called "Old Hedley Road". When it finally was displayed, well, the device leaves off the road designation. The device did not display the river though earlier, it had displayed much smaller creeks.

    Leaving the village of Keremeos, BC, the road winds up a hill. At the bottom of the hill, there is a curve to the right (which the device told me about), a curve to the left at the top of the hill (which the device did not tell me about), and finally a right turn to the highway I wanted (which the device told me about). The up-shot was that I was told to make a right turn followed by a right turn, and it did not make sense. It was good that I knew the road.

    In the hamlet of Cawston, BC, the device thought that the main street deadended and suggested accordingly.

    I get paid in US dollars, so I prefer to spend US dollars. Therefore, rather than continuing through Canada, I cross at Nighthawk, WA, proceed to Oroville, WA, fill up with gas, and cross back into Canada at Osoyoos, BC.

    The device kept trying to get me to turn around. I was wondering when it would give up. While I was wondering I saw a road displayed on the device, but there was no road there, no sign of there ever having been a road there, and no sign of anything else that the device should know about (such as a creek). A few miles past the border crossing, there is another road, a real one. The device seems to understand the world as segments. When I got off the segment, it recalculated. The road to Oroville is a nice drive, very pretty. At least one of the roads that the device shows is actually a long driveway.

    Ah, Canada. The device was displaying Imperial. Remember how the device switched measuring systems in Hope? It switched again after I restarted the SUV at the gas station in Oroville. The system in use depends not on what country you are in, but what country you were in when you started the vehicle. I found later that one can force the setting, but I did not experiment to see if that locked down the measuring system used or that it just lasted until the next vehicle startup. Imagine explaining to a border officer that you are experimenting with your GPS. Guessing is such fun.

    The device also had an odd idea of which way I should go. As far as I can tell, it intended to keep me on the highways. I know of a shortcut, and I took it. The device did not handle it well. Trying to get me back "on course", it suggested some bad ideas.

    1) One road to the left comes down a hill which is steep enough that the road is broken into left and right branches. The device suggested that I take the far branch. This would have necessitated a turn of approximately 150 degrees. The near branch is about thirty degrees.

    2) Later, it suggested that I take a right turn -- remember that the previous suggestion was for a left turn? -- onto a narrow road with patched potholes when I was on the best road around and which led straight to the programmed route.

    3) I rejoined the programmed route and prepared to turn right. The device was instructing me to turn left!

    One thing that I never did solve was how to get the device to just display without having a route programmed. I wanted to see where I was without having to select a destination.

    The device has a safety feature that disables most of the user interface when the vehicle is in motion. It was also mounted so that the person in the front passenger seat would not be able to see the display. I thought this was rather counterproductive.

    When I set out to go home, I planned again to stop in Oroville for gas. While I did not know the exact address, I thought I could get close. For some reason, the highway was not listed. Unfortunately, the device requires you to select first what you want (nearest city centre, a particular city centre, or a particular intersection) then the city name. The other way around is much more natural to me. It also would have been much quicker as entering alphabetic was a slow process with no keyboard.

    Again, I crossed the border at Nighthawk. I crossed into the US a final time. The border between Canada and the USA is is at 49 degrees north latitude. For some reason, the device told me I was in the USA when it still displayed me at seven seconds of latitude north of the border. According to my estimate, I was much closer.

    I decided to let the device tell me how to get to Bellingham. Understand that I take a short route. Roughly, I go west, then I go south. The system picked a route that was much longer and windier. Among other places that I saw, the oddly appropriate Chance Road. In Osoyoos, it was trying to keep me on the highways. Here, it avoided them until the end.

    I did make it home safely, and I certainly see where these devices are useful, but much salt is needed.

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Dad, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 5:09pm

    Red Green-Rules of the road,the biggest truck has the right of way. Red's sidekick-You better check with DOT, that doesn't sound right. Red Green-You better check the cemetery.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    smithy smithy poants, Apr 7th, 2008 @ 7:06am

    bow chica wow wow

    wee =D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Nelson Munz, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 7:38am

    Ha! Ha! You're stupid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2009 @ 5:38am

    As we all know, nearly almost plastic products around you was made through plastic injection molding – the mouse you are using to click, the PET containers you use to store water or food, and also China printing can help us made the labels to attract potential customers and steel and aluminum made scaffolding made for the purpose of construction and renovation works.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Soccer Merchandise, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 6:05am

    This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article. Soccer Gear

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    syhcool, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 6:53pm

    pandora-bracelets-sale

    They have also succeeded pandora jewellery in bringing some of the bitter realities pandora bracelet of existence -- as well as joys - into the plane of society's pandora bracelets sale consciousness like never before. It is pandora shop this quality of personalization that is at the pandora bracelet charms core of the lure of rubber bracelets all over pandora bangles the world. They now come in all colors and with all pandora necklaces kinds of messages stamped on them. The Red pandora beads Cross has issued red rubber bracelets for tsunami pandora charms victims, and the relatives of American servicemen are sport pandora earrings green ones with the message 'Support our troops' stamped on them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    identicon
    China Tent, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 8:49pm

    This is a good,common sense article.Very helpful to one who is just finding the resouces about this part.It will certainly help educate me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    identicon
    China Tent, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 11:18pm

    This is a good,common sense article.Very helpful to one who is just finding the resouces about this part.It will certainly help educate me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    identicon
    Talavar, Nov 21st, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Most GPS devices have a bar at the bottom that tells you what road your next turn is on, and the distance to the turn.. after i read that, I don't even look at the damn thing untill i turn. Your better off to turn the volume off and use it that way. It causes less confusion.

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    Rick, Oct 12th, 2013 @ 11:22pm

    Driver slavishly obeys GPS directions rather than think and accept responsibility or his own actions. I have seen this before when a coworker wouldn't drive around the block to enter the job site because his TOM TOM did not give him directions. Come on people, THINK!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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