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Satellite Navigation a Real Crackpot!

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the asking-for-directions dept.

230

debest writes "What happens when your satellite navigation system in your car gives you bad advice on which road you should take? In Britain, these systems have been directing drivers down a road near the (aptly named) town of Crackpot that is strewn with boulders and has an unprotected 100ft dropoff on one side! The locals are worried someone's going to go off the edge."

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Reality TV (-1, Offtopic)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081112)

At first I thought they were talking about the TV waves they beam into the plate on my head, amplified by my tinfoil hat. Then I realized that the submitter is just celebrating Eastern Orthodox April Fool's Day.

Re:Reality TV (0, Offtopic)

EZLeeAmused (869996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081147)

You got it all wrong. The satellites have figured out that we're stopping their direct influence with our tinfoil hats, so now they have to resort to more subtle means to rid the planet of human vermin.

Re:Reality TV (2, Funny)

Yocto Yotta (840665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081155)

Hey now, come on, this story is cute and funny in a safely humorous, non-tech way. I don't know about you, but I want to know about every navigation bug affecting rural UK folk. Just what I expect here at /. Boy oh boy, let me tell you about the time Yahoo! Maps told me to take the I405 instead of I5 to go to South Seattle from Lynnwood. FRONT PAGE NEWS!

Re:Reality TV (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081327)

Maps told me to take the I405 instead of I5 to go to South Seattle from Lynnwood. FRONT PAGE NEWS!

That's actually a good idea some parts of the day. I5 backs up when it goes to 2 lanes in central Seattle.

Re:Reality TV (1)

Yocto Yotta (840665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081573)

I don't know . . . I had some consistantly bad experiences on the 520 when I've left work in Redmond heading for warehouse district. What you say is totally true, but I've never found it any faster. We probably travel different times of the day though, so, yeah, you know.

And damn, mode my OP down . . . I just took an already lame joke and totally drove it into the ground explaining it. Sad.

Re:Reality TV (1)

linebackn (131821) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081413)

The point of this story is people blindly placing their trust in technology. People seem to have this strange idea that computers are infallible and anything that a computer tells them is always going to magically be 100% accurate.

They don't think for themselves any more, they never question the almighty computer. They throw away their pencil and paper, and rely entirely on their computer. And if the computer is wrong or not available these people may lead themselves right in to disaster. And the potential for this happening is increasing every day.

Re:Reality TV (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081455)

"is people blindly placing their trust in technology"

What... you believe what the website said? :-p

What to do: (3, Funny)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081126)

Treat it for depression, give it plenty of (if its voice command) encouraging words or (if its tap-n-go) a good rub, but be sure to keep an eye on it; its obviously has suicidal tendancies.

What worries me.... (4, Funny)

pranay (724362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081133)

Is why are the british drivers punching in "crackpot" as their destination? Agreed that GPS Nav works like magic, but this is too much optimism. What did they expect, a list of all local crack joints with directions?

Re:What worries me.... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081392)

They're probably going somewhere completely different..

My satnav is keeps telling me to make uturns despite the fact that I'm going the fastest and shortest route to me destination. Plus the fact that uturns are illegal on that road...

Basically they're a bit naff for short distances. Going between cities is OK but I always switch mine off for the last few miles.

..... You don't even have to RTA.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081845)

to gather that the drivers didn't enter Crackpot as a destination. The navigation system directed them *through* it to get to their intended destination.

Cooter (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081139)

""What happens when your satellite navigation system in your car gives you bad advice on which road you should take?"

Not much different than that gas station attendant five miles back.

Re:Cooter (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081225)

Except that Cooter isn't repeating "turn left now" in soothing tones via the hifi.

Rat Race (4, Funny)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081350)

I knew I should've bought a squirrel

Re:Cooter (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081465)

You get to make a new series: "When navigation GOES WRONG!"

"The worlds worst nagivation errors!"

ugh

Strange progress of technology (4, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081142)

Come on, if back in the early 1980s you could get a sentient talking car [amazon.com] , then why in 2006 do we settle for these simple guidance systems that are so limited they could get us killed?

Re:Strange progress of technology (1)

dogwelder99 (896835) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081184)

Out of curiousity, did you include that referral-payola Amazon link as an example of deceptive navigation technology?

Re:Strange progress of technology (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081200)

As this is one of those posts meant to be funny through a pity saying, with the punchline coming in a link, I had to link somewhere. And since there's no official Knight Rider website, and linking to Wikipedia makes me feel ill, I thought the DVD set would be a good enough place to end up.

Re:Strange progress of technology (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081261)

linking to Wikipedia makes me feel ill
First comment from a Britannica employee I've seen on Slashdot. How does it feel to be downsized?

Here's a much more informative talking car link. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Strange progress of technology (5, Funny)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081281)

Why [wikipedia.org] does [wikipedia.org] linking [wikipedia.org] to [wikipedia.org] Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] make [wikipedia.org] you [wikipedia.org] feel [wikipedia.org] ill [wikipedia.org] ? [wikipedia.org]

Scary thing is, only one of those is a redlink...

Re:Strange progress of technology (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081514)

Great, now some schmuck is going to create an article for "does".

Re:Strange progress of technology (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081795)

Someone did and redicted it towards "deer".

Looks like it's time for a disambig page?

Re:Strange progress of technology (4, Funny)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081388)

Sentient?! Pfft. My car didn't know the difference between a door and a jar...

They really have 2 options: (5, Insightful)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081154)

1) Put up a sign reading "Don't go down this road, even if your GPS tells you to; Dangerous conditions ahead".

2) Stabilize the slope above and install a guard rail.

Re:They really have 2 options: (4, Informative)

demonbug (309515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081239)

1) Put up a sign reading "Don't go down this road, even if your GPS tells you to; Dangerous conditions ahead".

2) Stabilize the slope above and install a guard rail.



1) good idea - but they're going to also need to provide directions for an alternate route

2) This sounds like a rather remote, extremely lightly travelled route - it may not be economically feasible to install a guard rail and "stabilize the slope" (which could cost tens of thousands or millions of dollars). Sounds like it is just a back-country dirt road that wasn't designed for through traffic.

Re:They really have 2 options: (1)

lubricated (49106) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081402)

>> extremely lightly travelled route

It's either an extremely lightly traveled route, and there is no problem, or more and more people are traveling on it and it is a problem.

Just about every road in Seattle wasn't built to take that traffic it's getting but that doesn't mean people shouldn't try to improve the situation.

Re:They really have 2 options: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081412)

Just about every road in Seattle wasn't built to take that traffic it's getting but that doesn't mean people shouldn't try to improve the situation.

Yeah but how do you get people out of their cars?

Re:They really have 2 options: (2, Funny)

lubricated (49106) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081503)

>> Yeah but how do you get people out of their cars?

Gta style. You open the door and pull them out.

Re:They really have 2 options: (1)

Ambient Sheep (458624) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081644)

>> 1) Put up a sign reading "Don't go down this road,
>> even if your GPS tells you to; Dangerous conditions ahead".
>
> 1) good idea - but they're going to also need to provide
> directions for an alternate route

Re. the grandparent's post...from the article:

> Grinton Parish Council has now asked North Yorkshire County Council
> to look into the problem and see if safety signs can be erected.
>
> A county council spokesman said: "We will look at the signing issue
> and any appropriate action that needs to be taken will be taken."

Re. the parent's post...if you just ignore a turning and keep going straight down a main road, then all the SatNavs I've met (not many, admittedly) will then reroute and take you down another turning a bit further down the road, rather than yelling at you to hang a U-ey and take the turning you just missed.

Re:They really have 2 options: (1)

Asm-Coder (929671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081689)

Thank you for providing the simplest answer. Maybe some of yes need to be reminded to KISS!

Re:They really have 2 options: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081687)

You never said a truer word - it's an appalingly bad road that I have the dubious pleasure of driving occassionally....

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=397500&y=4 96500&z=3&sv=crackpot&st=3&tl=Crackpot,+North+York shire+%5BCity/Town/Village%5D&searchp=newsearch.sr f&mapp=newmap.srf [streetmap.co.uk]

Re:They really have 2 options: (1)

binarybum (468664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081241)

what!!? no ..., no PROFIT!! ?

    you must be new here.

btw, "But we get a lot of sales reps in posh cars coming and they get so cross" hmm, wonder what the sales reps are selling in crackpot?

Re:They really have 2 options: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081288)

probably a. GPS units or b. crack!

Re:They really have 2 options: (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081498)

Because driving over steep edges is just one of natures thinning out devices, doing so would be anti-evolutionary (watch the ID folk go do it now ;-)

One more option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081633)

3) Let crack dealers open up a camp at the beginning of the road.

Too obvious to be a solution (5, Insightful)

PacoHernandez (939349) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081159)

Is there a reason that they haven't put a railing on the "unprotected 100ft dropoff" edge?

Re:Too obvious to be a solution (1)

Olix (812847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081180)

Probably because the residents of the town find it funny to watch scared travelers scared crapless as they make their way along some narrow, dangerous, rocky cliffroad.

Hey, there is never anything good to watch on TV - they have to find something to do.

Too obvious to be a solution (indeed) (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081323)

Keep in mind this is the country that gave the world Charles Darwin. It's obviously a form of... encoraged natural selection.

Re:Too obvious to be a solution (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081377)

Yes there is a reason - it's a rock-strewn farm track rather than a surfaced road and it isn't suitable for motor vehicles, and certainly isn't a through road. The error in question isn't the quality of the road or the lack of a guard rail, but the fact that the GPS systems are flagging it as a through route when it isn't.

I've holidayed in the area regularly and once you go off the A (main) and B (narrow, usually single-lane) roads, you're on moorland, bogland and are pretty much on your own. While I can't be 100% sure whether I've been down the specific track they're talking about, I have mountain-biked down a few pretty hairy tracks near Crackpot that I know I wouldn't take a car down, specifically the ones that end in a drop, rather than have one at the side...

Re:Too obvious to be a solution (1)

elpapacito (119485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081408)

That would prevent coyotes from falling !

Re:Too obvious to be a solution (1)

wantedman (577548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081461)

It's possible that the cliff is steep for a rail.

best action to take... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081187)

...put up a sign "Toll Road Ahead".

Happens all the time (4, Funny)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081189)

I had a similar problem recently while driving through Pennsylvania. I had set my car's GPS computer to lead me to Intercourse, but no matter what I pushed it I could only reach Bird in Hand. Of course, I've had this problem with web pages on my PC at home before, so I really can't blame the mapping company.

Re:Happens all the time (5, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081214)

I had a similar problem recently while driving through Pennsylvania. I had set my car's GPS computer to lead me to Intercourse, but no matter what I pushed it I could only reach Bird in Hand.

I used to live in that general part of Pennsylvania and always chuckled looking at the map. Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand, and Mt. Joy, towns all innocuous on their own but when placed together highly sexually suggestive.

Re:Happens all the time (5, Funny)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081435)

There are a lot more than that... near Intercourse, you have Paradise (naturally), as well as Leacock, Reamstown, East Petersburg, Mountville, Climax, Beaver, and of course the ever-present Blue Ball. You don't know how frustrating it is to drive out to the country, and figure you'll stop for a quick visit to Intercourse, get lost and end up in Blue Ball. and wind up ending your night with Bird in Hand.

Re:Happens all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081729)

near Intercourse, you have Paradise (naturally), as well as Leacock, Reamstown, East Petersburg, Mountville, Climax, Beaver

is that anywhere near Mianus [google.com] ?

Sometimes you make it to easy (2, Funny)

funkmasterbillis (949560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081290)

>I had set my car's GPS computer to lead me to Intercourse

maybe you should try match.com, I hear that works pretty well. It must be better than your gps, at least.

Re:Happens all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081299)

If she's in your hand she probably wants to go to intercourse too.

Re:Happens all the time (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081384)

If you really want to get to Climax, you have to go to Michigan.

Re:Happens all the time (1)

bwcbwc (601780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081720)

Or if you're female you can go to Dildo Street [yahoo.com] in Puerto Rico.

Re:Happens all the time (1)

schnits0r (633893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081784)

or Saskatchewan [ytmnd.com]

Re:Happens all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081398)

You mean as a ./ reader you didn't end up in Blueball or Virginville? I'd think that's a time to brag!

(And yes, those are real towns in PA - same general area too. I love where I grew up...)

Re:Happens all the time (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081433)

I had almost the same problem, except I kept winding up in Blue Ball, PA [hometownlocator.com] !

Re:Happens all the time (1)

fbsderr0r (601444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081518)

suprise to most people. the towns are real.
its in PA Amish country.(Good'n Plenty had pretty good food)

you weren't driving a horse and buggy were you?

Ya, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081606)

Looking for a slice of paradise [google.com] ,
but end up at blue balls [authenticbandb.com] .

So what they're saying is..... (4, Funny)

rune2 (547599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081191)

In Crackpot there's more than one way to go off the deep end! /rimshot

Re:So what they're saying is..... (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081475)

Get out.

Typical mapper issues (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081192)

There are a couple of problems with these things, both familiar to MapQuest [mapquest.com] users.

1) Things change. New roads (sometimes whole communities) get built, and there is some latency in getting that updated data where it can be used by your GPS-mapper (whether in your car or on the web).

2) Driving-direction algorithims are good, but not flawless. MapQuest, for example, provides driving directions that will usually get you where you want to go, but may have you take an odd route to get there.

The bottom line: If you expect your Tom-Tom (or whatever) to magically do all of your thinking for you, you'll eventually wind up going over an 'unexpected' cliff ...

Re:Typical mapper issues (4, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081405)

TomTom are *really* bad though. They're riding high as the most common GPS in the UK.

Unfortunately their maps are filled with obvious errors, and they ignore people who correct them (it's not uncommon for roads to be 10 years out of date on their maps... they've been told - repeatedly - about these errors but each time a map upgrade comes out no fixes have been done. Add to that the fact the map upgrades are not free and TT are ripe for being murdered by the competition..)

Re:Typical mapper issues (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081457)

Damn right! I've personally fucked myself with MapQuest. Two things happend to me while driving to a clients house plotted with MQ.

1. Took the shortest path that cross a bridge over a bayou. Problem: the bridge hasn't even been fucking built yet. The road was closed off. Worse yet, it didn't look like a bridge would ever be built from the looks of it.

2. Driving to a new residential area. Problem: Road that was supposed to continue on but was instead turned into a Cul de sac.

Map software problem.. (1)

Achra (846023) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081193)

I live in noplace, TN.. I got sent down a dirt road via mapquest onetime. Eventually, I came out at my destination. The point is, that the map software only sees roads.. Not the quality of the roads. Really, ideally, these kinds of roads wouldn't have made their way into the map database at all.

Re:Map software problem.. (4, Informative)

mzwaterski (802371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081321)

I know my GPS sees road types because I can tell it to exclude some road types from a particular trip. For example, I can say: no highways, no dirt roads, etc...

I have a Garmin Quest.

Re:Map software problem.. (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081378)

You're lucky. I live in noplace, Tn, as well... and they don't even recognize my ROAD on mapquest. At all. According to them, I don't exist.

Wow (5, Funny)

abscissa (136568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081208)

If a computer tells you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081397)

What type of computer? Running what OS? Is it an open source program?

Hypothetical conversation (2, Funny)

xIcemanx (741672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081222)

"Don't drive there! The road ends on a cliff and we'll all fall off and die horribly!" "But the GPS directions say to go that way!" "Oh, in that case, no problem. "

Similar Story (4, Interesting)

SloWave (52801) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081266)

Some time back when GPS's in cars were fairly new, I rented a Hertz car with a GPS while on a business trip to Colorado. I didn't ask for the GPS, they just gave it to me. At the end of my trip I decided to try out the GPS, so I programmed it to return me to the Colorado Springs airport. I missed the first turn to the airport but no problem, the GPS said it had an alternate route. So I followed the route until it said I had reached my destination. All I could see however was miles of nothing and a big chain link fence. The GPS insisted I was at the airport however. Finally I dug out the rental car map and it showed me that the GPS had led me to the back side of the airport. I almost missed my flight because of that stupid GPS.

Re:Similar Story (1)

rkanodia (211354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081317)

Exact same thing happened to my girlfriend at John Wayne Airport with Google Maps directions.

Re:Similar Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081344)

Technically you were at the airport.

Re:Similar Story (1)

AaronW (33736) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081383)

That sounds like my experience with the Hertz "N^Heverlost" system. At the time I was in Austin, Tx and we needed to go back to the airport, so we went through the menus and chose "airport" as the destination. It directed us to the old airport which had been closed for several years. We finally figured out we had to tell the system we wanted to go back home and it directed us correctly.

Fortunately we gave ourselves plenty of time.

Re:Similar Story (2, Interesting)

Persol (719185) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081411)

Odd timing.

I'm currently in Pueblo, CO at a test site 30 miles outside town. There's only one paved road to the facility and it's from Pueblo.

I usually fly into Denver, drove through the Springs, to Pueblo and then head out to the site. Simple trip, just get on 25-S and drive. Get off on exit 101A and drive ~30 miles.

Well, I wanted to test my new gps. It had me drive down to the Co Springs airport and then take a ~30 mile dirt road. Actually got me there quicker, but the facility keeps that gate locked :/

Re:Similar Story (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081641)

Well, if you've ever been to Denver, you know that the airport is essentially one big building surrounded by literally miles and miles of nothing.

Re:Similar Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081747)

You silly man! Where were your wirecutters?

At the very least you could have found a secret ramp and go all Dukes of Hazard.

OnStar and the eternal flame of endearment... (1)

geodescent (871514) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081280)

I bet that won't be in an OnStar ad anytime soon. Too bad.

serious??? (1)

seventhc (636528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081313)

Are the people taking this road all getting directions from a GPS??? Granted a GPS in a car isn't uncommon, but I dont know anybody who has one. I have a GPS, sadly not 1 in my truck. So would taking it out of the data base really help? I could be wrong, but I find it hard to beleive that everyone taking that road is being told by their GPS, also...for such a well traveled road, why not get rid of the bolders, pave it and put up a gaurd rail. Just a thought.

Re:serious??? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081417)

GPS are now in around 10% of cars in the UK and that's growing *really* fast.

Yeah, sure... (4, Funny)

Winlin (42941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081341)

The locals are so worried about this. Just like, in the days of sailing ships, the villagers who put up fake lights were very worried that some ship might run aground on the rocks. I say we see who in this village is hacking the GPS. First place to look...the suspiciously wellstocked local secondhand store.

Business Opportunity ! (4, Funny)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081354)

I say buy the parcel of land at the bottom of the 100ft dropoff and set up an auto wrecking yard. Put up sign half way down - "Welcome to Crackpot Auto Wrecking"

Re:Business Opportunity ! (1)

the-amazing-blob (917722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081642)

I say buy the parcel of land at the bottom of the 100ft dropoff and set up an auto wrecking yard. Put up sign half way down - "Welcome to Crackpot Auto Wrecking"
Then charge $100 per car.

Set untarmaced roads to 1mph (5, Informative)

cootuk (847498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081369)

This is fairly local to me. This is out in the wilds where the decent A road takes the long way round. The problem seems to be that untarmaced roads are set to about 10mph average spped by default in a lot of routing software, and most people select 'fastest route'. Simply by setting untarmaced roads to 1mph you can avoid some of this silly routing. Plus using a bit of common sense.

language barrier (0, Redundant)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081396)

Here in the US it's called "crackhouse" not "crackpot".

Turn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15081401)

My system just told me I should have taken a left turn at Albuquerque!

Crackpot Navagation systems (1)

Antipas (105430) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081438)

Hmmm always have to wonder about a place named crackpot, anyway this is actually a common problem with in car navigation, I have had my navigation system try to send me on an impossible route, i.e. roads blocked moved construction...

  I would trade my navigation system for Night Vision display in the dash any day.

I'm goin for it... (5, Funny)

XdevXnull (905214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081446)

In Soviet Crackpot, GPS drives you!

Simple Map Data problem (1)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081477)

Since most navigation companies buy their map databases from someone else they'll have to pass the info on to their supplier and maybe make a tweak to their local copy. It might be as simple as classifying the road as "dirt" vs "county road" to keep it from being used as part of a route.

However, that will only fix things for the people who get the next version of the updated maps. Customers driving around with 4 year old maps in their built-in navigation systems will still be SOL.

So, as someone suggested, a sign is the best and quickest solution. Even the quickest response by all the various Nav system manufacturers and map data suppliers won't fix un-updated systems in the field.

At least (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081481)

Hey, it leads you to your target... Your wife would have led you to the nearest shoeshop...

They are funny (1)

whitehorsedigital (962992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081485)

I was on a business trip, and we were in a rental with one of those navigation systems, and it had us turn off the main road, make a U shaped diversion and then turn back onto the main road. We just laughed. Ah technology.

Someone also... (1)

Tomy (34647) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081527)

... needs to teach the driving [yahoo.com] directions [google.com] software about ferries [wa.gov] .

Re:Someone also... (1)

donutello (88309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081625)

Try local.live.com [live.com] . Maybe Microsoft being based in Seattle helps :)

This is a...problem? (3, Funny)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081592)

One of the things I enjoy about my GPS is that it sometimes takes me on rocky, dangerous, fall-off-a-cliff dirt roads that I'd otherwise never find!

Crackpot not a "town" (4, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081632)

This story was a real surprise - I never thought Crackpot would get a mention in Slashdot. My parents have a cottage just up the dale outside Gunnerside. However I feel I should point out that Crackpot is hardly a town. It consists of about two farmhouses and a barn! The biggest attraction is probably the name although I do remember going on a good walk from there once.

Incidently the name comes from the norse "pot" meaning hole or dip (in this case referring to the limestone rift there) and "Kraka" meaning crow. As a kid I was always told it was because they found some roman coins in a cracked pot there but I think the former is more plausible!

Anyway it was great to see Crackpot on Slashdot. I suppose next week they'll be a story about the nearby town of Hawes (which is pronounced "whores" :-)

as you sow so shall you reap (1)

screeble (664005) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081652)

If you're not smart enough to read a map and realize you probably shouldn't go down roads with big boulders and cliffs then don't blame it on a GPS... It's 100% user error.

I routinely use GPS waypoint tracking while I'm fishing and 4X4ing.

I then import that data into Google Earth/KML.

Only once have I ever ended up with a KML file I'd actually give someone to use for fishing.

Normally, I end up with results worthy of usage for getting rid of your enemies.

Oh sure... Just go down that goat track for fifteen clicks and then turn left at the old stump.

Trust me, it's totally safe! The GPS knows exactly where you are!

HA!

Similar Issues (2, Interesting)

Cylix (55374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081662)

A looong time ago in Seatle I managed to get some similar system.

Hertz or herts or something car rental came with a navigation system.

I thought, well this is nifty and set about setting up my destination.

It was a bit of a pain initially and I was really annoyed I didn't have more time to spend truly learning it before I actually went somewhere. Still, I pressed onward with this great technological advancement and started on my way.

I swear the damn thing tried to kill me repeatedly.

Wrong street here, one way there or just it generally shouting at me that I was going the wrong way.

I was still fairly impressed that it managed to re-calculate the route, but I gave up on it after the second time it sent me down the wrong way on a one way street.

It ended up being useful to get me close to my destination, but just wasn't responsive enough for my needs.

I'm sure it is much better now though.

OT: rambling about Seatle rental cars (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081743)

Heh, I remember very earnestly signing the contract for a rental... a legal sized page of 1 point type (ok, maybe 6 point, max) - saying stuff like "I won't take this car out of the state..."

As I recall, I chose that car company because it was conveniently located close to the ferry dock. Their car was on the way out of the country in 30 minutes.

(Canada is still another country, right?)

Misdirected paranoia? (0, Offtopic)

ztucker (938031) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081715)

Coincidentally, 97.5% of those misdirected thought Blair was wrong on Iraq and 98.6% thought British Intelligence was incompetent.

Map (5, Informative)

Ambient Sheep (458624) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081746)

Here's a map [multimap.com] of the place. Check out those contour lines (in metres), and the chevrons on the roads, which indicate steep gradients (for those not versed in British OS map symbols).

I guess it's that pale-white track on the bottom left, just below the "Summer Lodge [Farm]" that was mentioned in the article, in which case no GPS system should take you down one of those - white on British OS maps (as opposed to yellow) means no tarmac. And the dotted edges of the road indeed mean "unfenced". Lovely stuff. It's even debatable whether the narrow yellow roads on that map (which mean single-track with passing places) should be used by a GPS as through routes, let alone the white ones!

Still, it reinforces the stupidity of the drivers, as there's obviously a point there, just past the farm, where the character of the road changes, and they blindly believe the GPS rather than turn back and let it find another route.

take the American approach (2, Insightful)

bhalter80 (916317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081796)

I believe this is why most GPS in car nav systems have a click through disclaimer every time it starts saying that while these are valid directiosn they are not necessarily the best/fastest/safest way from A -> B and that you use them at your own peril.

This is what happens when people rely too much on nifty gadgets and stop using basic skills like map reading. The map may sill take you down this road but from what I've seen people get all googlyeyed in front of any video display and lose basic reasoning skill, like that which would prompt somoene to fidgit with the GPS for a minute and find an alternate route as this one seems undrivable.

Hmmm... I wonder. (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15081797)

City: Silent Hill, Toluca County, West Virginia.

Hey, what's that cliff doing in the middle of the roaaAAAAAAAAAAAAA
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