Road rage hits the information superhighway

If you get cut off driving to work, don’t get mad – get even on-line. A new Web site, www.platewire.com, lets peeved motorists and pedestrians post the license plate numbers of bad drivers for all to see.

According to Mark Buckman, the site’s Washington, D.C.-based co-founder, “we believe that rage and courtesy go hand in hand. If you as a driver are treated rudely by someone, you are more likely to take that frustration out on someone else, especially if you are already experiencing stress, an almost daily fact for many of us. So our basic principle is simple: if we can help people become more aware of their unsafe habits, become self-accountable for their actions, then we have made a difference.”

In short: Better to flip the bird in cyberspace than in someone’s face.

A simple registration process leads users to a “wire” section, where they can “report and flag bad drivers, award good drivers, and even flirt with cute drivers.” Five icons can be applied to a posting: Award, “to say thanks to a driver for showing courtesy and thoughtfulness;” Flag, “to warn a driver of his/her rude and/or careless behaviour;” Wink, “to send a flirtatious message to a driver you’ve encountered;” and Hazard, “to warn them of a physical (or otherwise) hazard that their vehicle exhibits.”

There was no word on whether “Bite” or “Drop Kick” would be added to the icons.

The site is apparently proving so popular that, at press time, the registration and posting services were being upgraded. This will hopefully encompass Canadian drivers – at the time, the registration process only included U.S. states.

Clearly, Buckman has never driven on the Don Valley Parkway at rush hour.

Dude’s so sweet

Wayne and Garth, take note: A group of Australian scientists revealed recently that they have developed a high-tech T-shirt that turns the strumming of an air guitar into music.

According to news reports, the T-shirt has motion sensors built into its elbows that pick up the wearer’s arm motions, and relay them wirelessly to a computer that interprets them as guitar riffs.

One arm is interpreted as picking chords while the other strums. The “wearable instrument shirt” is said to be adaptable to both right and left-handed would-be rock stars.

The question is: Does the shirt go up to 11?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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