Segway Recalls All Units Ever Shipped
I had heard that there was a Segway recall due to a programming error that needs to be updated
, but I hadn't heard that they are recalling every unit ever sold
"Segway is recalling all 23,500 of the self-balancing scooters it has shipped because of a software glitch that can make its wheels unexpectedly reverse direction, throwing off the rider -- and in at least one incident, break some teeth."
[ via Boing Boing ]
Whenever I hear about recalls I can't help but think back to Flight Club
when Edward Norton's
character describes his job as a "Recall Coordinator":
I'm a recall coordinator. My job is to apply the formula. It's a story problem.
A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 miles per hour. The rear differential locks up.
The car crushes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now: do we initiate a recall?
Take the number of vehicles in the field (A), multiply it by the probable rate of failure (B), then multiply the result by the average out-of-court settlement (C). A times B times C equals X...
If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.
[ source ]
Segway they can fix this problem with a software update, which means that the cost of this recall is relatively low compared to one involving a bad part, their cost will mainly be in man hours spent running the updates and paying for the shipping of units to and from its service centers.
The biggest cost might actually be in public perception of a Segway generally being dangerous to ride. I almost almost have to side to agree that they are dangerous to ride, if only for the unknown inner workings. When I think of a bicycle, I think of a very simple design of a human powered pedal system driving a chain that propels the bike to move forward -- combined with the rider's task of maintaining balance. If balance is lost, you can pretty much blame it on an error from the rider.
But with a Segway you have set code making the decisions in a dynamic situation. I write code. I think for this reason I trust the Segway's brain even less. I am not saying don't ride a Segway if you are given the change -- I sure as hell want to ride one (as I did near 6 years ago
). While I am sure that Segway owners would argue that they feel perfectly safe on their units, the recall obviously shows that there are situations that were not originally programmed for.
I wonder how long until Segway units are Internet connected devices that can receive patches over the air?
Got my bike - '07 Honda Shadow Aero
Today I bought a new 2007 Honda Shadow Aero 750cc motorcycle. This is my first bike ever. I only managed to put 24.5 miles on it today, but I am anxiously waiting until this Saturday when I get enough time to go on a decent ride (maybe down to the Swan Falls Dam - it's maybe about a 35 mile ride, I'll have to clock it).
I have a Flickr Photo Set
with photos of me picking my bike up from the dealer. Check em out
Tomorrow I need to take it down and get it licensed, maybe I will get a sweet
plate? I wish TerraPass
had a way to calculate out Motorcycle emissions.
One thing that amazed me through the process of buying the bike was how easy getting the loan was. Maybe it is because I used the same credit union as my existing auto loan? I called a rep at the credit union yesterday morning saying I wanted to buy a bike, I then went to the dealer during lunch and had them fax a sales order to the union and called my rep to let her know. She said that I could come in at 3:30pm to sign the paperwork and pick up the check. I opted to wait until today to pick up the check because I had to get back to work, but I seriously could have had the money within like 5 hours - that's dangerous.
Neave.tv is like channel surfing at 3 AM
is a video mashup website that combines videos from Blip.tv
, Google Video
, and YouTube
into a single interface that's like channel surfing at 3 AM. Which is actually pretty ironic that I am just discovering this web site and it really is 3 AM right now.
From the looks of it the videos are hand picked so you don't get mindless junk, but videos that someone in particular thinks is "cool" or at least fits the site. I like that Godzilla
was my first video.
Spell Checking with Bon Echo (Firefox 2.0 Beta)
I have always had an interest in the addition of spell checking in Mozilla Firefox
. A bit back I got some traffic when I wrote about how to get the Firefox extension SpellBound to work in Firefox 1.5
(in a single day it became my all time most popular blog entry according to Measure Map
, thanks to Matt
). Back then I even noted that spell checking was to be incorporated into Firefox 2.
Recently when I saw a link on Digg
that a portable app
version of the Firefox 2 beta (codenamed Bon Echo) was released I decided to try it out just to take a look at the spelling checking features.
Here some screen shots:
Screen Shot A.
A text area with multiple misspellings.
Screen Shot B.
Context menu for misspelled word.
Note: I PhotoShopped out the menu items that didn't apply to spell checking.
Screen Shot C.
Context menu for form field.
Screen Shot D.
Advanced Options menu for Enabling/Disabling spell checking.
Many users will be pleased by the addition of the spell checking feature built right into Firefox. But I personally hope that some more work is done on this feature soon.
Features that need work:
"Spell check this field"
This either needs to be removed or redone. As it currently stands, when you uncheck this option all the red underlines showing you your spelling errors are removed from the form field (which might be useful for taking a screen shot). But it has no effect for when you re-visit a web page. I would prefer for it to act like remembering passwords. You can tell Firefox to never ask to save passwords for a particular form - which is saved and stored for future submissions of the same form. I would think that if for some reason I opted to not spell check a form field, I would never want that field spell checked again, even on revisits. This should have field specific and form specific settings.
When you click the menu item to add more dictionaries you are brought to this page on the Mozilla Add-ons site
that has spelling related add-ons including what appear to be more dictionaries. But nothing near as clear and to the point as this page that lists various dictionaries
for Mozilla Thunderbird
when you right-click on a misspelled word you get an "Ignore Word" option. When selected, all instances of that particular word will be exempt from the spell checking.
"Spell Check This Form" / "Tools > Check Spelling..."
Correcting misspellings one word at a time can be tedious if you are a bad speller (like me if you haven't gathered) or if you are dealing with a large body of text. An option to launch a full spell checker to handle the current form field or the entire form would be a wonderful addition. This would add missing options like "Ignore All" and "Replace All" that are found in most spell checkers (including the Firefox extension SpellBound
"Spell Check On Form Submit" Option
Wouldn't it be nice if a full spell checker was launch when you submitted a form, similar to when you send an e-mail? This combined with my suggestion of storing fields/forms that you want permanently ignored from spell checking would make this extremely awesome.
While I am happy to see spelling checking built-in, with the current state of the features I do hope that the development version of the Spellbound extension
continues to work in Firefox 2.0 to fill in some of the missing features.
Got my "M"
In an update to a previous entry
about taking a state sponsored motorcycle training class, I wanted to announce that last week I officially got my Motorcycle Endorsement added to my Idaho state drivers license.
I got one question wrong on the DMV exam.