So it's a New Year and given the events of 2016 and the prospects for the near future I thought I'd just pop this on here. Likely to be a sentiment we come back at least a few times over the coming twelve months.
Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.
Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…
The superbugs and the threat they pose to our healthcare systems and ultimately our lives and limbs have been a topic I have visited on an intermittent basis over the last few years, but given the number and variety of bacteria now achieving pan-drug resistance, it’s probably worth another discussion.Since I last wrote about the topic we have learned of a number of diseases which are now, effectively, incurable with modern medicines. STDs, Tuberculosis, e.coli, the list is longer than anyone would like. These infections are once more fatal. For Tuberculosis, which was thought to have been eradicated in the 1960s, that’s a particularly unwelcome return.Antibiotic resistance has reached the point where we now need to revisit Victorian era treatments for these infections. Amputation, lung removal, and eventually palliative care become the only options available to clinicians.The warnings about the superbug and the careful management of antibiotics dispensing, their use in farming and the…
The prospects of Apple competing with Google, Tesla, Uber and the motor industry in the autonomous car market rose significantly yesterday, with the news that the company has doubled the number of permits to operate self driving vehicles in California.
That's the sort of commitment which suggests Apple sees a future in the business after all. But what sort of future?
Autonomous cars are going to be a slow burn. Right now we know that those market protagonists which have cars under test are still seeing a significant number of interventions - the number of times the human has to take control to prevent an incident - happening per mile driven.
That speaks to the quality of the software and hardware being used to guide the vehicle, but it doesn't tell the whole story. The upper and lower limits of the current state of play are Google - one intervention every 5,000 miles - and Uber - one intervention every 13 miles.
Those numbers are being achieved in tightly controlled environme…