It's not cost-effective to monitor everything. (Unless you have a very unusual and high-impact job). Capturing voice and data is relatively cheap and easy these days, but hiring a human to trawl through it all looking for interesting stuff is difficult and expensive.

Large organisations like to have the capability, but… » 10/24/14 1:08pm Yesterday 1:08pm

A cheap car with ABC is the most expensive car you'll ever buy.

You can get a lot of W220 luxury for very little money, but it's not truly luxury when your plush little bubble of leather and fart-fans and walnut and Bose is punctured by angry red warning lights on the dash, caused by some electrical or hydraulic fault… » 10/22/14 2:58pm Wednesday 2:58pm

Meh, I don't want to go all "efficient markets" on you, but everybody knows about the upcoming models - not just you and me and Daimler, but also other people who might want to buy or sell Tesla shares. So, current prices of Tesla shares reflect the expectation of upcoming models. Why would it be weird to sell shares… » 10/21/14 7:12pm Tuesday 7:12pm

In the wonderfully researched book History of the Wife, Marilyn Yalom writes that sexual relations in medieval Europe, for instance, were not only mandatory after betrothal, but also only for procreative purposes.

"Sexual relations were considered a debitum conjugale — a solemn duty that each spouse owed the other,…

» 10/18/14 5:08pm 10/18/14 5:08pm

I don't think that applies to everyone. Certainly, the kinds of people who attract more media attention are probably going to want obviously super-expensive brands, so there will be some reporting bias. However, there are plenty of wealthy people out there who appreciate subtlety. » 10/18/14 6:41am 10/18/14 6:41am

Not really; in the centre of major European cities, car usage is relatively low among the poor. Public transport is cheap (often with discounts for low-income groups), parking is expensive, and so on.

Of course it's a bit different in the outer suburbs, where the tram & bus routes thin out, there isn't a grocery store… » 10/16/14 4:26pm 10/16/14 4:26pm

I wrote to Volvo begging for a chance to buy the Concept Estate or something like it, and they sent me a similar form letter about how it was just a concept.

There are subtle hints towards the P1800ES. It really is a fine-looking car, and very easy to square with modern demands for fuel efficiency, crash safety,… » 10/16/14 1:37pm 10/16/14 1:37pm

Some drivers learned (or were taught) to stop, to let emergency vehicles past. Unfortunately, some drivers are not very intelligent, so they remember the "Flashing blue lights? I've got to stop!" bit of the lesson, without really understanding why.

I have seen somebody stop their car in the middle of a chicane on an… » 10/15/14 3:49pm 10/15/14 3:49pm

A rough rule of thumb is that people drive more sensibly in Northern countries than in Southern. It's a gradient. In my time in Belgium I saw regular examples of stupid, dangerous driving (and I was part of it; I wrote off a van on the R0) but it was still better than southern Europe.

And when you reach the southern… » 10/15/14 1:34pm 10/15/14 1:34pm