September 07, 2009

Don't trust the GPS

In an episode of "The Office," Michael Scott drove his car into a pond when he put too much trust in his GPS navigator. I knew that some of the details could be a little bit off in the real world, but now I know I can't even trust my Garmin to plan a route. On a recent drive in the New Orleans area, the female voice told me to "Turn right, board ferry." With all the bridges around, I knew that it did not require a ferry to go from New Orleans to Lafitte. However, this damn device had actually directed me away from where I needed to go just because it thought a ferry was closer. How can I make this navigator plan a decent route? In the setup options I had never seen a checkbox for "favor bridges" or "avoid ferries." What an annoyance. "Recalculating," she said as I drove past the entrance to the ferry boarding area. Recalculating is right, you stupid box of electronics. What's next? "Jump curb for shortcut"? "Activate amphibious apparatus and cross swamp"? "Speed up and jump over missing bridge section"? "Increase speed to 88 miles per hour and enter year 1955"?

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