Marvin Gaye as an antidote for Road Rage

Marvin Gaye

If our cars could just play “Mercy Mercy Me” when a Road Rage situation is detected, countless lives would be saved each year.  It shouldn’t be that hard to do.  If the car is going faster than 45 mph and it detects sudden braking and the horn being pressed, the odds are pretty high that the potential for a Road Rage condition exists.

When that happens, the car should immediately start playing Marvin Gaye singing “Mercy Mercy Me”.  You just can’t stay mad listening to that song.

I discovered this amazing fact this morning, while driving into work.  I was in the left lane, driving a large breadbox that is also known as the Honda Odyssey.  Some guy in a  Fiat 500 (named because that’s about how much it weighs) started moving into my lane, right about where my front fender is.

I tapped my brakes and pressed the horn to gently remind the driver that while we can both occupy the same place, physics prevents us from doing this at the same time.  His response was to give me the finger and do some assorted other hand signals.

That made me mad.  It’s one thing to be a lousy driver and to make a mistake of not looking to see where you are putting your ridiculous car; but it’s quite another to get mad at another person because you missed the Driver Ed class on how to use a mirror.

If I had not hit the brakes, he would have crashed into me.  Which would have been annoying.  I probably would have had to pull over and wipe Fiat off my fender.  In addition to not understanding the laws of physics, those laws would be decisively unkind to the Fiat.  When  a 2300 pound object hits a 4400 pound object, it’s not hard to pick the winner of that outcome.

He then attempted to speed away from me.  Which in a Fiat 500 is cute to watch.  Soaking wet, a Fiat 500 has about 12 horsepower (OK, 101  horsepower).  The Odyssey has 248 (breadbox aerodynamics requires the horsepower equivalent of 1980 Ferrari 308 GTS.  To be fair the Ferrari weighs less and looks cooler) horsepower.  I could tailgate the 500 without the Honda breaking a sweat.

Before I could start participating in today’s Road Rage challenge, “Mercy Mercy Me” came on the radio.  The soothing tones of Marvin Gaye pushed the Road Rage out of my head and replaced it with a pleasant calmness.  In the same amount of time it took to get mad, I became unmad.  I then maintained a normal cruising speed, while in the increasing distance the Fiat 500 driver tailgated the car in front of him.

This could work for other people.  It doesn’t have to be Marvin Gaye, you could pick from a selection of music that would soothe you, based on your own tastes.  But I think “Mercy Mercy Me” would work for most people.

Microsoft’s Privacy Manifesto

In the Cloud We Trust

Microsoft News just posted an article by Brad Smith, the President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft about privacy in the age of the Cloud.  You really want to read it, it’s about where we are now and where we should be going, and what Microsoft is doing to get there.

If the Sony attack taught us nothing else, it was this: There is no national security without cybersecurity. That helps explain why so many governments are taking action.

I came across the article by a link posted by The Register, which basically called it an ad for Microsoft Cloud services.  It’s that, but it’s also much more.  It’s about Sony Hack, it’s about Snowden, it’s about data residency requirements, and it’s Je suis Charlie.  It’s also about the lawsuits between Microsoft and various governments over data being stored by Microsoft.

Microsoft is taking steps in ensuring that they will treat their customer’s data properly and lawfully.  Smith wrote that Microsoft’s cloud business will be grounded in the following four commitments to “governments, enterprises, consumers, and people around the world”.

  1. We will keep their data secure.
  2. We will ensure people’s data is private and under their control.
  3. We will figure out the laws in each country and make sure data is managed accordingly.
  4. And we will be transparent so people know what we are doing.

Smith goes on to provide some information about the lawsuits that Microsoft has been in and the nearly mystical Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.  It’s worth reading.

Even if you don’t care about the topic, but like to see an innovative and clever use of HTML, go read the article.  It’s easy on the eyes and uses HTML5 tricks to make the graphical data interactive and non-annoying.  Go read this and go check out the Voices for Innovation web site..