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Jargon watch: ICE-ing

Reading Time: 2 minutes

ICE-ing – a method of protest using vehicles with internal combustible engines.

Sometimes writing posts are a matter of serendipity. I was out walking in Stepney Green and came across a series of electric vehicle charging points. I hadn’t paid any attention to them before.

Right about the time that I noticed them; I saw that the parking bays in front of the charging points were all taken up by petrol or diesel engined vehicles. This being London were parking spaces tend to be a premium, I took a picture of the dissonant scene and quickly moved on.

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I came in and then read a piece of how truck owners in the US were trolling Tesla supercharging points. Car culture is still huge and overwhelmingly celebrating petrol engined vehicles. But in the US there is a definite sub-text to the protests; one of class war. Metropolitan elite Democrats versus middle America truck-owning Republicans.

I revisited the photo that I took earlier in Stepney Green. All the vehicles in the photo were mid-range Mercedes cars with the exception of the Nissan pick-up truck. What would the odds have been of a super-mini in the row of parked vehicles if this was just about parking spaces?

It didn’t seem organised; but more of an organic system. Some first ‘person like me’ committed the transgressive act of parking in a charging bay. This then gave ‘permission’ for others to do it as well and the spaces filled up.

There are a number of reasons for a consumer to not want to purchase an electric car when looking for a vehicle:

  • Cost
  • Energy density / range
  • Speed of recharging
  • Charging point network
  • Vehicle choice

A bigger and harder to crack issue for vehicle manufacturers is one of values. Electric cars don’t have a culture behind them. They may have good road performance but they are the wholemeal bread of the automotive world. Something you should so, rather than something you are passionate about driving. Internal combustion engines won’t go quietly into the night.

BMW going into formula E and launching the i8 using the design language from the M1 was a nod towards making electric sexy. But on its own its like spitting in a hurricane. One Japanese vehicle manufacturer knew how to make electric (and petrol) vehicles exciting through

  • Customisation
  • Tinkering
  • Community
  • Noise
  • Spectacle

Unfortunately for the automotive industry that vehicle manufacturer is Tamiya. Tamiya is a Shizuoka based manufacturer of remote control cars for hobbyists.

Maybe the answer isn’t about marketing but about engineering?

You can change the fuel without changing the excitement, noise or spectacle.

Hydrogen powered combustion engines offer similar energy density and performance to petrol cars, but with water as the waste product rather than carbon monoxide. Battery technology currently relies on a lithium and most of the world’s supply comes out of a high desert in Chile – we’ve replaced one finite resource (oil) with another (lithium and rare earth metals).

Toyota is already experimenting with hydrogen in Japan. BMW have done pilot programmes in the past and hydrogen as been trialled in heavy goods vehicles.

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初 | hygiene | 기본 香港 | hong kong | 홍콩

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

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Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech – The New York TimesModerators express frustration at rules they say don’t always make sense and sometimes require them to leave up posts they fear could lead to violence. “You feel like you killed someone by not acting,” one said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he had signed a nondisclosure agreement.

Amazon Alexa crashes after Christmas Day overload | The Irish TimesThe crash, at about 10am Irish time, prompted Amazon customers to complain about not being able to play festive songs, turn on their living room lights or get cooking instructions for Christmas dinner.

Silence has been golden for Jardine Matheson | Financial Timestoday’s Jardines is primarily Sir Henry’s creation. It is an intensely conservative institution that does not give a fig for modernity or the views of outside shareholders, and is overseen by an all-male, family infused board of directors. It is equally a daring merchant adventurer with plenty of grit.

Amazon Alexa Shopping Tripled as Bose, Nerf Topped Holiday Sales | Fortune – Amazon on Wednesday said that the number of voice-activated orders placed via its virtual personal assistant Alexa were three times greater during the 2018 holiday season than they were in the last year – is this proportionate to the increase in Alexa powered devices, this comparison is important

Huawei Veterans Selling AI to Banks Shape China’s Newest Unicorn – Bloomberg – 4Paradigm looks as if it could get crushed by Huawei’s wolf culture

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初 | hygiene | 기본 媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술 思想 | ideas | 생각 爱尔兰 | ireland | 아일랜드 经济 | economics | 경제학

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

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Things that made my day this week, apart from spending time with family, introducing my Mum to T-WOG$ – the Terry Wogan secret pirate radio shows and eating surprisingly little Christmas food.

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For those who haven’t heard it, Peter Serfinowicz channels Terry Wogan IF he hosted a show on rinse.fm. Now I just need to find an impressionist who can do a passable impression of Daniel O’Donnell spitting lyrics over drill tracks.

RuPaul’s Christmas Ball from circa 1993…

A more serious interview with RuPaul Charles courtesy of Houston PBS

Ireland, Brexit and the future of Transatlantic Relations

Irish perspective on Brexit

Three stories on video game addiction told in I Was A Winner

And one last thing as a seasonal bonus