Daily Archives: October 27, 2007

Donncha's Saturday Links

A mixed bag, from germs and bugs to splogs and chocolate tasters.

  • Grannymar reminds us germs lurk everywhere. I’m always careful in public toilets, but it never occurred to me how bug-ridden ATMs are!
  • wp-hashcash works pretty well as an anti-comment spam tool. Make sure you have curl installed before installing it. Now, will someone adapt it for use on WordPress MU’s signup form, or maybe even the Write Post form? Might put a dent in the sploggers efforts to ruin our sites.
  • I forgot to mention yesterday, Donal lives here. Well done on the move bro! Great party last night!
  • Amid concerns that WiFi signals cause cancer, threaten the environment or cause nuclear meltdowns, this tshirt should come in useful.
  • An oldie, If architects had to work like programmers… via Barry.
  • The perfect job, taste testing dark chocolate. Conor says it’s to assess it’s value for money! Oh the poor guy.
  • Yahoo comes to Ireland but can they ever beat Google again? Does anyone care?
  • Not Drupal, WordPress MU – using WordPress MU instead of Drupal in a school environment and authenticating against Active Directory. He’s got a few niggling problems still, but it’s looking good. Anyone have other WordPress MU success stories to share?
  • Mark takes me back with this blog post about Wizball including the great soundtrack!

It's all about the L drivers

2007-10-20_img_7378-hs.jpg It’s all about the learner drivers. Yesterday the Road Safety Authority here in Ireland decided to finally enforce and tighten up the rules regarding drivers on provisional licenses and it caused uproar. I have some sympathy for learner drivers because they were only given 4 days notice. The new regime starts on Tuesday.

While it’s true that learner drivers are in the main more nervous and less experienced than drivers who have passed the driving test, the simple act of passing the test doesn’t suddenly bestow on someone skills and responsible behaviour that remain with the driver throughout their lives. We wouldn’t need the anti-drink driving campaigns or speed cameras if that were true. In Blarney yesterday a woman in a small car crept forward in busy traffic looking out her open window at the street signs with a mobile phone glued to her ear and when she trundled past us I saw a quizzical, worried look on her face as she tried to find where she was going to, completely oblivious of the long tailback behind her.

Four days was way too short however. If you’re going to pull the rug from underneath a large minority of the driving and working public give them adequate warning and improve the training and testing facilities. If everyone handed in fake “my employee needs a car for his job” letters the waiting lists for tests would still be just as long. That’s no way to run a driver testing facility.

It is so easy to say, “You had two years to do the test, why didn’t you do it?” Provisional drivers had it easy unfortunately, there was no stick forcing them to take the test. Now there is. Bloody big stick too. All I hope for are safer roads once the dust settles.