Ged Carroll

Peugeot 505 + more stuff

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Peugeot 505

Before there were minivans, MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles) and people carriers there was the the Peugeot 505 estate. It had three rows of seats. As a child, I remember that the diesel version was used for private hire cars transporting families to the airport and similar uses. At the time, private hire companies used to have names like ‘Airport Express’ and other terms. This was decades before Addison Lee or Uber. The Peugeot 505 could still be seen in Africa and the middle east well into the 2010s, which gives you an idea of how robust the Peugeot 505 and the relative simplicity of repair. It was Peugeot’s last rear wheel drive vehicle. The Peugeot 505 could be found in turbo and GTi versions and was converted by Dangel to become a port-SUV. Four wheel drive, but a monocoque chassis rather than the frame-and-ladder structure still used by serious four wheel drive vehicles like the old model Land Rover Defender, and current Toyota Land Cruiser, Lexus LX and Toyota Hilux pick-ups.

Consumer behaviour

The Secret to Being Lucky | WIREDwe’re only as lucky as we think we are. We only find luck when we look for it. Better still—for those who like action items—luck begets luck. You look for sunny weather, you’re more likely to find it; you find it, you come to think you’re lucky; you try your luck looking for more sunny weather and you luck out again. In Aeon magazine, Hales wrote, “Luck might not be a genuine quality of the world at all.” Fine. But neither is beauty or justice. At the same time, the Bloomsburg researchers discovered “a significant positive correlation” between people’s temperaments and how lucky they thought others were. “One of the things this means is that the more optimistic you are, the more you think others are lucky.” For “optimistic,” I might substitute “happy-go-lucky.”

The airline lounge has arrived at destination undignified | Comment | The Sunday TimesIt’s summer 2022, a weekday morning and at Heathrow terminal 2 the “fast track” is closed to premium travellers (lack of staff) and, over at terminal 5, passengers are confusing the BA lounge with a branch of M&S, an adult daycare centre and their living rooms. Buffets are raided and carry-ons filled with cans and bottles, grown men and women are wandering around in what they think is chic athleisure but is really just synthetic jammies, trainers are propped up on tables and every other passenger seems to be suffering from an overheating crotch as legs are splayed wide open. – nice summation of British consumer behaviour

Design

Most expensive cars sold at auction | CAR Magazine – the Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupe is beautiful, but more as a piece of art than something you would want to drive

Economics

Mexico: A development puzzle – by Noah Smith – Noahpinion

Finance

Sinema is significant beneficiary of private equity lobbying machine | Financial Times 

Innovation

A.I. Is Not Sentient. Why Do People Say It Is? – The New York Times 

Audi’s digital matrix headlights: do they work? | CAR Magazine – I would not of thought that DLP chips would find their way into car headlights to provide a MEMS powered version of the old swivelling headlights that I remember of Peugeots of the 1990s

Sony will work with Honda to build EVs | CAR Magazine – If I had the money and was in the market I would be happy buying a Sony branded car – a ‘Sony Driveman’ if you will. It makes sense that Honda would partner for electric vehicles. I think that this and Toyota and Hyundai‘s separate hydrogen programmes are a couple of the most exciting developments at the moment

Ireland

Russia Has Stolen Over 400 Commercial Jets and No One Seems to Care | SOFREP – many of these were from Irish aviation leasing companies

Legal

Amazon acquires Roomba maker iRobot for $1.7bn | Financial TimesAmazon is in a tussle with the European Commission over the placement of its own-brand products on its platform. Antitrust regulators suggested Amazon was using its size, power and data to prioritise its own items over competing merchants on its ecommerce platform. The commission is seeking views by September 9 on concessions offered by the tech company that aim to address the issues raised – what will the iRobot purchase tell Amazon about the inside of our homes?

Media

MoFi Records has been using digital all along, a scandal in the audio community – The Washington Post 

Parrot Perspective: Hollywood Tries to Get Gaming Right | Parrot Analytics 

Meta reports drop in revenue for the first time ever | Medium 

Online

Why Is the Web So Monotonous? Google. :: Reasonably PolymorphicThe primary purpose of the web today is “engagement,” which is Silicon Valley jargon for “how many ads can we push through someone’s optical nerve?” Under the purview of engagement, it makes sense to publish webpages on every topic imaginable, regardless of whether or not you know what you’re talking about. In fact, engagement goes up if you don’t know what you’re talking about; your poor reader might mistakenly believe that they’ll find the answer they’re looking for elsewhere on your site. That’s twice the advertising revenue, baby!  But the spirit of the early web isn’t gone: the bookmarks I’ve kept these long decades mostly still work, and many of them still receive new content. There’s still weird, amateur, passion-project stuff out there. It’s just hard to find. Which brings us to our main topic: search. This fits in really interesting with The Founder of GeoCities on What Killed the ‘Old’ Internet | Gizmodo 

Security

On cruise missiles and precision weapons. There is an interesting paradox between usage and the very slow replacement rates for missiles which affects Russia and western powers.

Software

Tracking the Faceless Killers who Mutilated and Executed a Ukrainian POW – bellingcatUsing the face of the main person of interest, the website search4faces returned a profile on Odnoklassniki, a Russian social network, which contained this individual’s name. This, in turn, allowed researchers to discover a Facebook profile linked to this individual which contained more photographs – these were useful, given that most images of this individual on his other social media profiles were at least six years old. A search on PimEyes using a photograph from this Facebook account returned frames from the aforementioned RIA and RT videos in which the person of interest was visible. As seen in the perils of widely-spread misidentification on Twitter, Russian-created facial recognition algorithms perform poorly with non-Caucasian faces. While the algorithms used by these tools are not openly accessible and verifiable, it is plausible that this poor performance is due to the ethnic and racial bias within the user bases of large Russian social networks such as VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. A 2020 Harvard study revealed facial recognition algorithms’ biased results when working with non-white faces, though most of these studies have focused on American examples and Black faces. – interesting points on facial recognition software used by western and Russian internet services. I imagine that would be different biases in Chinese machine learning algorithms

Taiwan

President Tsai responds to the live-fire military exercises China has initiated around Taiwan – YouTube – great example of a steady hand at the tiller

Web of no web

Young Gamers and the Metaverse: How the Rules of Success Are Changing | Bain & Company 

Kim Jones designs skins and vintage car for Dior’s gaming debut | Vogue Business 

What Gen Alpha’s Habits Tell Us About The Future Of Gaming – GWI 

Metaverse Majors Struggle as User Base Falls Short of Market Expectations