Friday five: GPS goofs, governators and the end of MSN Messenger
We’re midway through January, and the entire world outside my
window is devoid of all colour. Or is that just the snow settling
over London? Time to get the friday five out of the way before we
get snowed in.
1. Woman drives for 900 miles instead of 90, thanks to GPS error
We’ve all heard the GPS horror stories, but this one might beat them all. 67-year old Sabine Moreau left her hometown Hainault Erqueliennes, Belgium with the intention of picking up a friend at Brussels train station, a trip of about 90 miles. Two days later she was in Zagreb, Croatia.
Placing faith in a GPS is no bad thing, they’re pretty reliable these days. But at some point, like hitting border patrol, you might think the device or the user might have made a mistake. Not here, Sabine continued with her ‘On The Road’ style odyssey, even finding time for a snooze at the roadside.
She told Het Nieuwsblad: “I was distracted, so I kept driving. I saw all kinds of traffic signs, first in French, then German and finally in Croatian, but I kept driving because I was distracted. Suddenly I appeared in Zagreb and I realized I wasn't in Belgium anymore.” (CM)
2. RIP MSN Messenger
Yesterday, Microsoft emailed its customers using MSN Messenger - sorry, “Windows Live Messenger” - customers to inform them that, from 15 March, the decrepit messaging system will be rolled into Skype. It’s been a long time coming: Facebook, Twitter and mobile messaging services such as WhatsApp have replaced traditional desktop IM in recent years.
The final nail in the coffin was Microsoft’s purchase of Skype, which is a far superior service. But even so, MSN holds a special place in the hearts of a generation who spent hours every day after school chatting with friends, updating their MSN Space and using poorly-animated emoticons. (EB)
3. Verizon developer outsources work to China for the love of cat videos
We all get distracted by the frivolous things in life (hey, it’s what this feature is for), but one developer took to extreme methods to escape the humdrum of the 9-5 routine.
Verizon investigators discovered that a developer at a US-based critical infrastructure company, known only as “Bob”, had outsourced his work to a Chinese consulting firm to radically change his working day.
Here’s what a typical work day for Bob looked like once he sent his work to the third party contractor:
- 9:00 a.m. – Arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours. Watch cat videos
- 11:30 a.m. – Take lunch
- 1:00 p.m. – Ebay time.
- 2:00 – ish p.m Facebook updates – LinkedIn
- 4:30 p.m. – End of day update e-mail to management.
- 5:00 p.m. – Go home
Bob’s performance reviews make interesting reading. According to
Verizon, he consistently received excellent remarks and was
considered the best developer in the building. (CM)
4. I am the Governator, AMA
Despite appearances from
PSY, Bear Grylls and even the President of the United States
himself, Reddit’s ‘Ask Me Anything’ series has yet to jump the
shark. The latest unlikely personality to take
questions from the hivemind is Arnold Schwarzenegger,
bodybuilder, actor and politician extraordinaire. Interesting
answers included that his German is now worse than his English,
that one of his favourite current politicians is Democrat Chuck
Reed and that he would fight one Predator sized duck over 100
duck-sized Predators (“I've already fought a Predator-sized
Predator so I am confident I could handle the duck”).
Aside from an interesting interview, the thread also serves as the world’s largest collection of wacky Schwarzenegger pics. (EB)
And finally... in order to reach our weekly required dose of
stupid cat videos, here’s a video of a cat that pants with its
mouth wide open, wags its tail excitedly and plays fetch. “Tifa is
a little ‘species confused’,” writes the bemused owner. (EB)
Image courtesy of gaudiramone.