Ever thought to yourself, ohhhh lord, I would absolutely love to have a Jaguar jacket? Me neither. This isn’t the first time a car manufacturer has decided to try their hand in the fashion industry, from the top of my head Porsche have had a crack at it as have Ferrari, however both have them have simply allowed ready established fashion designers put their pages on their clothes, Adidas and Puma are the culprits here if I remember rightly. So by and large these are acceptable, however, nothing says moron quite as strongly as someone getting out of their second hand Porsche 944 or a second hand Porsche Panamera with a snap back cap on, or one of those vile red leather jackets. If you are one of those morons, yet you don’t drive a Porsche, you may still be in a shot at proving how much of a douche you are providing you drive a Jaguar or a Land Rover, who have also decided to create their own clothing range, and in turn create a number of visibly annoying fanboys.
Please don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with owning a Jag, a Land Rover, or a Porsche for that matter, this isn’t jealousy or inverted snobbery at work. I owned a second hand Jaguar XK myself, and absolutely loved every second of it, but, I don’t care who you are, or what car you drive, unless you work for the company, if the logo of your clothes match the badge on your car you are a certified anorak. To be fair to Jaguar, they have made some pretty decent clothes by the looks of it. Much of the Land Rover collection could be used for halloween if you are going as white privilege.
We all like to have a laugh at Nan’s expense whilst she does battle with the times and tries to get the grips with the latest technology, however the distance left between our old timers and modern day technology can be dangerous, and most definitely not funny, as two senior citizens from New Zealand have found out. I consider myself to be tech savvy, I’m good on a computer, it isn’t exactly rocket science but I built and maintain this website, yet when it comes to car technology there is something about it that isn’t quite as intuitive as other forms of technology. The amount of times I’ve sat in my car with my hands raised questioningly looking for a button or setting that will help me achieve the simplest of things. I was a passenger in my brothers second hand Audi A1 the other day and i couldn’t, for the life of me, work out how to move the seat back. However not knowing how to increase my leg room was nothing compared to what the elderly couple from New Zealand had to go through.
The couple had just bought a new Mazda3 that uses a smart key, yet when they got in the car they had left the key fob outside along with the users manual, usually this wouldn’t be a problem as the car was still functional, however Mr and Mrs Smith didn’t know this and the car was locked. Because of this they were stuck in a mindset that they couldn’t get out by simply unlocking the doors, instead they opted for bibbing the horn to attract attention, and even tried to smash the windows open using the car’s jack. Despite their efforts the couple were not found until 13 hours later, Mrs Smith was unconscious and Mr Smith was having difficulty breathing. The severity of the situation was so bad that if they had have been locked in the car for just half an hour longer, it could have killed them.
On the issue, Mazda New Zealand have stated the following: “It’s not a design flaw with the car… what we have said to the network is, with new technologies, don’t forget to show customers how to use them in their entirety [and] how to override them. There is always a manual process to override them.” Following the experience Mrs Smith decided to go public with the story and said she received around 5 phonecalls from different people with similar stories. My mom had great difficulty starting her new Hyundai i30 a couple of months back and had to phone for help.
Of course no one is really suggesting that Mazda are at fault here, however I think there is a lesson we can all learn from this article. If you have elderly family or friends who you expect may struggle with the technology of a car they have bought, and you think you could help them out a bit, offer some assistance. Don’t just rely on the dealerships or the salesperson.
I spend more money filling up my second hand Skoda Yeti with petrol than I dare tell the wife about, however things might be looking up thanks to some help form the Chinese, apparently. Fuel prices may well drop to their lowest point in years thanks to a recent drop in oil prices. We can thank the Chinese for this as it is their recent reduction of industrial activity that has lead to a dramatic fall in demand for crude oil. This means that demand is dwindling whilst supplies are increasing and as a result the price of Brent crude oil has slipped below $59 a barrel for the first time since May 2009. This means that oil prices are not far from halving when you compare them with prices from months as recent as this June. The price of US crude has fell even more dramatically with a drop from $1.86 to $54.05 a barrel.
It comes as a result of oil companies not wanting to slow down production and lose their niche market. So what does that mean for us in the UK? Well speculation suggests that the average price of petrol in the UK will drop from 116.9p per litre to under under one pound per litre in the first few months of the new year. Over the course of the year then the price of petrol will have dropped significantly as it was around the 130p mark at the start of 2014. In light of this I may finally buy that Land Rover Defender I’ve always dreamed of! Whats more is experts expect that the prices will stay low for the foreseeable future, for reasons that I couldn’t quite understand, but they sounded pretty legit.
If someone had a pound for every time I got a parking ticket…. Hold on a minute, they do! And they’re filthy rich. It has come to light that councils in England are making a record amount of profit, in 2013/2014 year they made £667 million from parking operations, £667 million!! Profit!!!! It seems I’m in the wrong business. 2012/2013 wasn’t too bad for the council either as they made £594 million, another interesting stat revealed that a whopping 44% of all of that money came from London boroughs. On the other hand there are parking authorities, in what I can only imagine are very well behaved areas, who have made a loss, 55 of the 353 in total. I can’t imagine it is the fault of the parking inspectors, just the other day I illegally parked my used Vauxhall Astra in Cleckheaton for literally 45 seconds as I ran into a shop, and I came out to a ticket.
According to Eric Pickles this rise in profits can be attributed to the industrial use of CCTV spy cars, like the pictured Smart Car in Manchester above. You maybe thinking, oh well, at least they might use some of this huge profit to pay for new/better roads, but you would be wrong to think that as in the last five years spending on local roads has gone down by 25%. On the other hand, Professor Stephen Glaister has said that the increase in parking profits may actually be down to the cuts in the cost of parking operations, hence, the profit is up because the expenditure is down. Further good news for drivers is that CCTV spy cars are to be banned and any tickets will have to be placed directly on the windscreen, though normal CCTV can still be used to issue postal tickets for offences on red routes, bus lanes, school zones and bus stops. The government have done this as they think that this profit driven way of dealing with parking has put people off using town centres for their shopping, and have turned instead to online alternatives.