Posts Tagged ‘heathrow’

The Changing Map Of Europe’s Boundaries

The boundaries of Europe’s constituent countries have changed a lot in my lifetime. Some countries don’t exist anymore whilst others have come into existence. But it takes a map visualisation to make you realise just how much the map of Europe has changed.

Actually, it takes two map visualisations. The first, courtesy of the BBC, dates from 2005 and covers the years between 1900 and 1994. Starting wit Imperial Europe and fast forwarding though two world wars, plus the Cold War and taking in the collapse of the Communist Bloc and the expansion of the European Union.


The other map takes a much wider view, ranging from 1000 AD to the present day. It’s oddly fascinating to watch the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires go from dominance to vanishing entirely.

LiveLeak Map

But the purist in me finds as much to dislike as to like in both of these maps. The BBC one is just two small and cries out for the ability to pan and zoom the map. For some unexplained reason, the map is … tiny and, though I hesitate to use the word in this content, the cartographer has obviously been experimenting with differing shades of colour to try and clearly delineate the countries but didn’t experiment hard enough.

The LiveLeak map is also small and while the video containing the map can be enlarged to full screen, there’s a loss of crispness to the map. For a map with such a wide timespan, it would have helped massively to have some kind of timeline accompanying the animation, so you can see just where in history you are.

Two maps. Both interesting. Both, for me, ultimately flawed. This sort of map just cries out to be reworked. If only I could find a suitable boundary data set spanning over a thousand years.

Written and posted from BA Galleries First Lounge, Heathrow Terminal 5 (51.47017, -0.48711)

Now The Metropolitan Police Want Your Phone’s Data

As a relatively prolific user of social networks and social media I generate a fair amount of data. Whilst I’m wary of what the social networks do with the data I generate, I appreciate that there’s no such thing as a free lunch and the data I generate contributes towards the revenue that keeps these services alive. There’s an uneasy tension that exists between big data and my data. I applaud services which allow me to retain or get back the data I put into them; Facebook, I’m looking at you here. I frown in a disapproving manner at services that make it challenging to get my data back without recourse to some coding; Foursquare and Flickr, I’m looking at you here. I’m quietly furious, yet continue to use services which are valuable to me but make it downright impossible to get my data back; Twitter, I’m fixing you with my steely gaze here.

This is all data that I willingly generate and contribute. But I’m increasingly wary about data which is not willingly generated or contributed. The data that private corporations hold on me, such as credit ratings agencies and more and more, the data that my government and their agencies hold on me, that I either haven’t willingly consented to or that is generated or aggregated without my knowledge.

It now seems that I need to add the police force of the city in which I live to the growing list of government agencies I’m wary of. As the BBC reports

The Metropolitan Police has implemented a system to extract mobile phone data from suspects held in custody.

The data includes call history, texts and contacts, and the BBC has learned that it will be retained regardless of whether any charges are brought.

What? Seriously? Really?

I can accept that if a crime has been committed, there’s a strong argument for getting access to data on a mobile phone, if it’s done with the correct authorisation and if it’s needed in order to achieve a conviction. But keeping the data, regardless of whether charges are brought or not has to be a breach of privacy. That breach isn’t just of the individual concerned, but of all the contact information for individuals that are on a phone and for the company who employs the suspect, who now has their privacy breached. Whilst history of calls, texts and contacts are mentioned, I fully expect the information obtained to cover email, work and personal email, as well, which would be even more cause for concern for companies in this country.

I’m sure the standard nothing to hide, nothing to fear adage will be rolled out to mollify concerns over this and we’ll be told that we can trust our police force with this information that they hold. After all, our police officers would never illegally access information that they hold, just like our civil servants would never snoop on the private health and financial information that the government holdswould they?

Photo Credits: Steven Guzzardi on Flickr.
Written and posted from the British Airways First Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5 (51.4702, -0.4882)

At The Airport, Not All QR Codes Are Created Equal

Another day, another flight, another addition to the ever growing and increasingly arcane number of steps that you need to go through in order to get through an airport and actually take off on a plane. I’ve written before on the world of airport security, be it having your bags X-Rayed or searched and on engaging flight-safe mode on your mobile phone/tablet/e-book reader/laptop.

Last week, flying from London Heathrow to Berlin’s Tegel airport I found a new addition to the increasingly detached-from-reality world of airline security … the electronic boarding pass. In principle, the electronic boarding pass is a great idea. First introduced in 1999 by Alaska Airways, checking into your flight online and putting a QR code on a graphic of your boarding pass cuts down queueing and waiting at the airport. Some airlines either send you the boarding pass as an SMS message, as an email attachment or as a time limited web URL. Some airlines provide an app on your phone; British Airways falls into this category and their app covers Windows Phone 7, iOS, Android and Blackberry.

With this in mind, consider the following electronic boarding pass, taken from last week’s flight.

Berlin Boarding Pass - Original

This boarding pass gets checked three times between the time I arrive at the airport and the time my posterior makes contact with seat 11C. The first time is at security when the QR code gets scanned; if the QR code is valid, I’m granted access to the airside part of the terminal at Heathrow, but my passport isn’t checked so as long as the QR code says it’s valid, I’m through. The second time is at the gate. Again, the QR code is scanned and this time it’s cross checked with my passport; so not only is the boarding pass valid, but I can prove that the name on my passport and the name on the boarding pass matches. The third and final time, is when I actually board the plane and the cabin crew visually check that the boarding pass is actually for that flight.

Now consider this version of the boarding pass. The QR code is able to be scanned and it contains exactly the same information as the previous one. It will get me through the first two boarding pass checks but apparently it won’t allow me onto the aircraft. Why? When boarding last week’s flight the member of the cabin crew who checked my boarding pass told me she needed to “scroll your phone” and “check that your boarding pass isn’t a photo“. the underlying assertion here being that if I wasn’t using a boarding pass on BA’s own mobile app, I couldn’t board the flight.

Berlin Boarding Pass - Copy

If your eyes are crossing from concentration at this point, you’re not alone. I still haven’t been able to comprehend what the difference is between a valid QR code, which is itself a graphic image, in BA’s mobile app and a screen shot of the QR code, which is, err, a graphic image. I have an even harder time comprehending how this makes the theatre of airline security any safer for me or for my fellow passengers.

Written and posted from Theresa Avenue, Campbell, California (37.2654, -121.9643)

Farewell Yahoo! Maps API, Hello Nokia Maps API

Yahoo’s JavaScript and AJAX API was the first mapping API I ever used and it now seems hard to remember when Yahoo’s API offerings were the dominant player, always iterating and innovating. The Yahoo! API set formed and continued to underpin the majority of my online presence. When I wrote about leaving Yahoo! and joining Nokia in May of 2010 I said …

So whilst I’m going to Nokia, I’ll continue to use my core set of Yahoo! products, tools and APIs … YQL, Placemaker, GeoPlanet, WOEIDs, YUI, Flickr and Delicious. Not because I used to work for Yahoo! but because they’re superb products.

… and I meant every word of it. The Yahoo! APIs were stable, powerful and let create web experiences quickly and easily. But now a year later a lot has changed. I still use Flickr on a pretty much daily basis, but Delicious is no longer a Yahoo! property and I transitioned my other web presence from using YQL for RSS feed aggregation to use SimplePie as YQL was frequently down or just not working. The original core set of Yahoo! APIs I use in anger is now just down to Flickr and YUI.

YDN Maps Shutdown

Sadly, this trend is continuing and on September 13th, to badly mangle the quote from Cypher in The Matrix, “buckle up your seatbelts Map scripters, ’cause the Yahoo! Maps API is going bye-bye” and writing …

var map = new YMap(document.getElementById('map'));

… will be a thing of the past. Adam Duvander, author of the excellent Map Scripting 101, has written a eulogy for the Yahoo! Maps API over on Programmable Web, including some pithy quotes from old friend Tyler Bell, whom I worked with when I was part of the Yahoo! Geo Technologies group, which sadly echo my comments on the overall demise of Geo at the company.

Thankfully all is not doom and gloom in the world of mapping APIs and Nokia’s Maps API is firmly in the spotlight to take up the slack left by the addition of the Yahoo! Maps API to the deadpool. And if you’re using Mapstraction with the Yahoo! Maps API, it should be relatively trivial to swap your code over to the Nokia API as Mapstraction now supports Nokia Maps. I may have had a hand in that.

Written and posted from the British Airways Galleries Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5 (51.4702, -0.4882)

“Disk Utility Can’t Repair This Disk”

Quis backup ipsos backups?“, as the Roman poet Juvenal didn’t say but might have if they had had computers in the first century AD.

Like most geeks I pride myself on being able to maintain the computers I use on a daily basis. Just like real men don’t eat quiche and real programmers don’t use Pascal, real geeks don’t call for professional help or technical support.

But then the day comes when one of your hard drives goes crunk, you go through all the tricks of the trade you know, you exhaust searching for possible solutions on the web and you realise that maybe, just maybe, while it’s not time to eat quiche or starting coding in pascal, it’s probably time to call for some professional help.

Like a lot of people, I’ve amassed a not inconsiderable amount of digital media over the years, in the form of apps, songs, movies and photos. Most of these live on my laptop and are religiously backed up with SuperDuper! and with Time Machine to external drives, with one of these drives holding the overspill. This aforementioned external drive had given solid, reliable service over the years but had started to act … quirkily. Fearing a critical mass of bad sectors I decided now was a good time to backup my backups.

Sad Mac

And then it happened. Crunk. The disk died. So I fired up OS X’s Disk Utility and verified the disk. It had … issues. Time to repair the disk. So it chugged and it whirred and the progress bar progressed with glacial slowness until finally, several hours later, I saw the message I dreaded.

Disk Utility can’t repair this disk. Back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk and restore your backed-up files.

Of course, it was probably my fault. Despite the number of bad sectors and other magnetic media glitches that accumulate over time on a disk drive, the drive itself had still been functioning; probably because I’d never actually tried to read from one of those bad patches recently. But in trying to backup the drive, I was pretty much accessing every sector on the drive with the resulting crunk being pretty inevitable.

So what to do? Most of my photos were already hosted on Flickr. A lot, but by no means all, of my music could theoretically be re-ripped from CD. But my backups of my iPhone and iPad were gone and let’s not even begin to talk about the movies. It may only have been under 500 GB’s worth of data, which is a drop in the ocean compared to today’s multiple terabyte drives, but it was a lot of data to me and it represented a lot of time, effort and memories.

Maybe data recovery was possible? A quick online search for “mac data recovery” had my bank balance wincing in shock. This was going to be expensive, if it was possible at all. Most recovery firms charged to look at the drive and then charged to extract the data from the drive, with pricing being based on the number of files, not the capacity of the drive. Then I found Tierra Data Recovery. Fixed pricing, free analysis of whether the data could be recovered, free courier collection and payment only on successful recovery.

It seemed too good to be true. But a quick phone call, explaining the situation and Tom from Tierra, as he will now be known, calmly laid out my options. So the following day a courier collected my drive and took it to Scotland and a couple of days later I got an email from Tierra with the news that all of my data could be recovered for a little over £300.00, and after shipping a new drive to them, all of my data made its way from Scotland back to London.

Dead Drive

Here in the UK we’ve become accustomed to being gouged by companies, to expecting poor or no customer service and to be treated like a cash cow. Which makes the speed and quality of the service provided by Tom and Gill at Tierra all the more unexpected and pleasing. I hope I never need the services of a data recovery company again, but if I ever do, Tom from Tierra will be getting my business again without a second thought. If you find yourself in this unenviable position, you should give Tom a call too.

Photo Credits: ~inky and Sifter on Flickr.
Written and posted from the British Airways Galleries Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5 (51.4702, -0.4882)

Airport Security X-Ray Oddness

Since I started my role at Nokia in Berlin in May of last year I’ve swapped the daily commute from home to work by train to a weekly commute by plane. This means I have to pass through airport security at London’s Heathrow and Berlin’s Tegel airports around twice a week. I tend to travel as light as I can, with a hand baggage sized suitcase so I can get off the plane and out of the airport as quickly as I possibly can, something Tegel airport excels at.

Taking the law of averages into account, I should be subject to random additional security searches and although the law of averages is generally considered a fallacy, about once a month my hand baggage gets that extra special level of attention. But it always seems to be for the same thing.

These Are Identical ... To Airport Security

The security staff at Tegel are terribly polite and ask me in the nicest way possible whether I wouldn’t mind if they took a look in my suitcase (of course, although it’s phrased in a way that appears I have a choice in the matter, I really don’t). Whereas the staff at Heathrow are a lot more brusque, with the conversation much more along the lines of “open your suitcase please Sir“.

At Tegel, the security staff at least tell me what they think we’re looking for … “do you have a can of drink in your suitcase?” … something I don’t try to carry onto a plane as it’s not permitted under the current “100 ml of liquids and gels in a clear plastic ziplock bag” rule. At Heathrow, they merely frown and poke around in my luggage.

So at both airports, the X-Ray machine seems to show a can of drink in my suitcase. But why? Each time this has happened the root cause is the same; a small, rectangular plastic box which holds my spare business cards, which when found in my suitcase elicits a confused frown, a brief inspection and muttered apologies and I’m sent on my way, sometimes with a “have a good flight” (Tegel) or a curt “thank you” (Heathrow).

I wish I could understand why a small, rectangular object should be mistaken for a significantly larger, cylindrical object under airport security X-Ray, but I can’t. Oddly enough, this never seems to happen with airport security in the US; maybe they have different X-Ray machines.

Photo Credits: Vicchi on Flickr.
Written and posted from the Nokia gate5 office in Schönhauser Allee, Berlin (52.5308072, 13.4108176)

Does Location Need Some PR Love?

In an interview with GoMo News earlier this year, I talked about “the Bay Area bubble”, this is the mind-set found in Silicon Valley “where a lot of the products and services coming out seem to think your user will always have a smartphone, and will always have a GPS lock with an excellent data connection”. But does the so called location industry live in its own version of the Bay Area Bubble? Let’s call it the “location privacy bubble” for the sake of convenience.

Last week an article entitled “Can you digital photos reveal where you live?” was posted on the Big Brother Watch blog; pop over there and read it for a moment, it’s only three paragraphs long …

… welcome back. My first thought on reading that article was “well yeah, duuh“. Followed up by the slightly more lengthy thought of “well yeah, duh … of course a geotagged photo can reveal where you live, if you’ve enabled geotagging, if you understand EXIF data, if you’ve uploaded the photo to the internet and if you’ve set the visibility of that photo to public … upload enough photos and sufficient patterns will emerge that should give a good indication of where you live“.

But I’d be willing to bet that most people’s thought on reading that article was much more along the lines of “s**t … I didn’t know that“. For those of us in the location industry, we should sit up and take note of this reaction.

I Love PR

Here on the inside of the location industry it’s relatively easy to dismiss articles such as the Big Brother Watch one. We know enough to make an informed decision on whether the location component of a service is opt in or opt out. With a bit of background research we can even find out whether a service utilises your location in stealth mode, with potentially abusive consequences, such as recent news that some free apps on the Android mobile platform are secretly sharing their location without the user’s knowledge.

With today’s ever changing technology making a level of technical sophistication available to the mass market that would have been unheard of 10 years ago, maybe it’s time for Location to engage the services of a good Public Relations agency to move the visibility and benefits of the location component of services away from the dense legalese of the EULA and away from burying the control of location deep away inside a densely nested set of configuration options.

If we don’t then the first that the majority of the general public will hear of location privacy will be when a story hits the tabloid media, such as when proof of infidelity of a celebrity due to a location based app on their phone is used in a high profile divorce proceedings. And that will be a sad day for all of the location industry.

Photo Credits: DoktorSpinn on Flickr.
Written and posted from the BA Lounge at LHR T5 51.4735445775, -0.487390325)

Berlin’s Tegel Airport; From Plane To Taxi In Under A Minute

According to that fount of online knowledge Wikipedia, an airportis a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps takeoff and land“. You don’t see that many blimps around these days but it seems simple enough. Airport. A contraction of the words aircraft and port. But not all airports are created equal. Take Heathrow for example, which, under the ownership of BAA is now less an airport and more a rambling shopping mall, spread over 5 terminal buildings, where hapless passengers (note to UK railway companies, we’re passengers not customers) are crammed into a small space in order to extract the maximum amount of cash out of them in overpriced shops, bars and restaurants and where the act of getting on and off a plane seems to be tacked on as an afterthought.

Even with travellators between the gates and the fun and games of immigration and baggage reclaim it can take anything up to half an hour from the moment you get off a plane to the time you emerge blinking into the outside world.

What a refreshing change it is then to use (the soon to be closed and replaced with Brandenburg International Airport) Berlin’s Flughäfen Tegel, where checking in takes minutes and where the duration from plane to taxi rank can be measured in seconds not minutes. Sounds hard to believe but yesterday while waiting to disembark from a flight from Heathrow I idly set the stopwatch on my iPhone and started the timer running the moment I stepped off the plane. I then stopped it the moment my backside met the seat of a taxi outside the terminal building. Total elapsed time from plane to taxi … 52 seconds.

Berlin Tegel Airport. From Plane to Taxi In Less Than A Minute.

Fifty two seconds. Count them. 52. Fifty two. Less than a minute. Lovely and plush and modern as Brandenburg airport will be when it finally opens, allegedly in 2012, it won’t be a patch on Tegel.

Written at the Radisson Blu hotel, Berlin (52.519648, 13.40258) and posted from Berlin Tegel Airport (52.5545447, 13.2899969)

Geo-Loco; Where The Geo-Wonks Meet The Geo-Clueless And All Points Inbetween

Last week I was in San Francisco, ostensibly to meet with fellow Nokians in Mountain View and Palo Alto, the homes of Google and Stanford University respectively. But I was also there to take part in a panel on the topic of “is geo loco a business or a feature?” at the Geo-Loco conference, chaired by geo-eminence grise Marc Prioleau.

With the explosion of interest in all things geo recently (and for once I think the hyperbole is justified) and thus a large amount of new conferences on the topic, I was somewhat skeptical of how Geo-Loco would pan out. But the presence of Marc Prioleau and other geo-rati such as LikeList’s Tyler Bell, Urban Mapping’s Ian White, Tom Coates, the man behind Yahoo’s Fire Eagle and Waze’s Di-Ann Eisnor, to name but a few, swayed me to participate.

I was interested to hear how Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures would keynote but was sadly disappointed; it was a rambling and somewhat disjointed affair with little structure or insight; the sole exception of which was an interesting technique to quickly mashup your Foursquare check-ins on Google Maps. Thankfully Fred fared much better when interviewed one-on-one later in the day by John Batelle of Federated Media, which produced an engaging discussion on the state of the geo market; some of which I even agreed with.

Geo-Loco Conference 2010

Proof that Geo-Loco was a fully fledged geoconference was evident in the Twitter back channel which was, by turns, witty, informed, damning, sarcastic, enlightening and downright funny. I may have contributed to this part of the proceedings. A bit. Here’s a brief sampler of some of the comments the speakers and panels contributed to, albeit inadvertently.

One of the braver panels was chaired by Phil Hendrix of IMMR who asked the audience and a panel consisting of the Institute for the Future’s Michael Liebhold, GigaOm’s Liz Gannes, the aforementioned Di-Ann Eisnor, Rackspace’s Robert Scoble and Google’s Lior Ron (who I’m not sure uttered a single word during the entire panel) to pontificate on the futures of location based services.

Now, making predictions of any sort is a risky business at best, even more so when those predictions are on an industry moving as rapidly as geo, a fact I noted last month in an article for Coordinates Magazine

Attempts to predict the growth, success and uptake of technology are rife. Accurate predictions, less so. “There’s no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home“, said Ken Olsen, then founder and CEO of DEC in 1977. “I think there is a world market for maybe 5 computers” is apocryphally attributed to Thomas Watson of IBM in 1943.

… but the panel gamely attempted to agree, disagree or abstain on 5 statements.

Geo-data will be free, with OpenStreetMap and other crowd-driven open-source data eclipsing commercial vendors.

Oh dear. Not this one again. Quite correctly the panel were split on this. Whilst I’m a big fan and supported of OpenStreetMap, this will not sweep all pretenders to the throne to one side and reign supreme. There is no one sole authoritative source of geographical data in the world for very good reasons; differences in use, in scope, in language support, in coverage, in acquisition methods; the list goes on and on. Even with the success of OSM, I’d still feel safer if the emergency services route their vehicles to where they’re needed by using official national geo data. It’s also worth noting that whilst people don’t seem to want to pay for geographic data any more, both Navteq and Teleatlas were acquired by Nokia and TomTom respectively precisely because of the value inherent in their authoritative views of the world, albeit one tempered by the Personal Navigation Device view of the world.

Location-awareness will be integral to any mobile app.

There was pretty much widespread agreement from the panel on this one. My take, whilst in general agreement, is tempered with the fact that we don’t all live in the Silicon Valley bubble, where there’s 3G coverage everywhere and everyone has a smartphone capable of location awareness. Will location be integral to smartphone apps? Undoubtedly. Will location be integral to all forms of app running on any nomadic device, be it tablet, laptop, phone or otherwise? Only if there’s an infrastructure to support it already in place, which gives the developing nations a disadvantage.

More than half of all mobile advertising in 2014 will be location based.

Not much agreement on this point from the panel and I’m in accord with them; advertising is notoriously difficult to predict at the best of times and to put a 50% figure on all mobile ads being location based in 4 years time should be viewed with extreme cynicism.

Virtually all user-generated content will be geo-tagged.

The panel were enthusiastically with this point and I’m also with them. But again, not everywhere in the world has the networking infrastructure to support geo-tagging so this statement needed to be viewed with cautious agreement. We’re also long overdue a highly publicised event which brings the topic of location privacy to the general public’s attention; the result of which may cause a significant turn off of location services. When, and not if, that happens, the prediction for location based advertising looks on even shakier ground than it is right now.

Proximity will become a critical filter for content.

Well yes, duuh, but isn’t this already happening? Either through our own efforts to obtain relevancy, through constraining search queries to locations or through localised services. The question should really be “automatic, meaningful, proximity will become a key context for content” as there’s no relevancy obtained by automatically constraining results to a local area when what you’re really looking for is information on your next vacation destination.

Photo Credits: Ken Yeung on Flickr.
Written at the London Heathrow BA Lounge (51.47286, -0.48726) and posted from the Radisson Blu hotel, Berlin (52.519648, 13.40258)

An Open Letter To Prospective Minicab Drivers

Since I started my new job, Terminal 5 at Heathrow has become close to a second home. This means I’ve been taking a lot of local minicabs to the airport early in the morning. The experience of frequent use of minicab services has been interesting, to say the least. With this in mind, I offer this up as a list of do’s and don’ts for anyone considering plying a trade behind the wheel of a 5 year old Toyota Avensis.


Turn up on time; if I order a cab at 7.00 AM I expect it to arrive at 7.00 AM, not at 7.15 AM with a cheery “don’t worry, the roads are usually clear at this time of day”. They’re usually not.

Either knock gently on my front door to avoid waking the rest of the household or call me on my mobile when you’re outside; the controller took my mobile number for a reason when I made the booking.

Give me a receipt if I ask for one; lots of people travel to the airport on business and asking for a receipt shouldn’t be a foreign concept. Having a pen to write out the receipt is also helpful.

Take the fastest and more direct route to the passenger’s destination. Driving a route which describes 11 of the sides of a dodecahedron because “it’s a short cut” or because “my satnav told me so” isn’t going to be met with any other tip than “learn the Highway Code and your local area, in that order”.

Weekend with an iPhone 6: Mini cab


Ask for help in programming your satnav en route to get you to Heathrow. It’s one of the most popular destinations around this area. It’s a big airport with 5 terminals and lots of planes. If you memorise the route to just one of the local destinations, this should be the one.

Drive the wrong way down a one way street, attempt to do a 37 point turn in the middle of the street with an increasingly enraged queue of cars behind you and then attempt to blame it on the local council because you didn’t notice the two, very large, No Entry signs at the end of the street. The fact that all the cars on the road are parked in the opposite direction to your direction of travel should be considered a significant hint.

Run the meter in the vain attempt to charge me more than the fixed price quote that I’ve already obtained from your controller the night before. Heathrow Terminal 5 is £20.00 from my house; attempts to charge me £35.00 from the meter will be met with a £20.00 note and utter derision on my part.

Don’t attempt to argue with me that my house isn’t in the neighbourhood I mentioned when I made the booking; I’ve been living here 10 years and all of my neighbours plus the Royal Mail are in agreement as to which neighbourhood we’re in. The fact that it’s also written in large red letters on the street name signs is also a clue. Having said that, if you miss the large red No Entry signs at the end of the road, you’ll probably miss the large red letters on the street name signs.

Jump red traffic lights on the way to the airport. Even more so, don’t jump red traffic lights and when I point out that you’ve jumped a red traffic light, stop the cab in the middle of the road, reverse into the oncoming traffic and try to argue that the light really wasn’t red when you jumped it. The presence of other driver gesticulating violently through their rolled down windows with the elbows jammed onto the car horn might also be considered a contextual clue.

Turn right on a no right turn junction because “you know a short cut”. Even more so, don’t turn right on a no right turn junction, jumping a red traffic light into the bargain and in doing so cut across the path of three lanes of fast moving traffic which misses colliding with the passenger side of the car by a fraction of a millimeter. I’m liable to get irate under these circumstances.

Photo Credits: pixelthing on Flickr.
Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)