Lobby Bar – January 13: New Driving Safety Standards, Whiskey on Tap Tap, and Shrubbery Take Charge

By Jeremy Del Nero on 13 January 2017
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A Super Summary of FBT News and Views, on Steroids

Rise of the machines. A California law that went into effect at the beginning of this year bars drivers from holding and operating a handheld electronic device while driving. Unfortunately, cars are so technologically advanced that a federal ruling in late December classified all cars as handheld electronic devices, which means that drivers in California are not allowed to touch the steering wheel while driving and must ride in self-driving cars from now on.

Midnight madness. Apple’s iPhone turned 10 this week. Its birthday was celebrated with virtual burning candles, virtual cake, and a virtual party, rendering the celebration virtually lame. Luckily, Apple released a new app after hours that turns recently released handsets into a tap for barrel-aged whiskey, although you’ll need a headphone jack adapter.

Diamond suits. United Airlines and Saks Fifth Avenue are teaming up to offer Diamond Guest passengers new clothing in case they spill wine mid-flight. Saks is updating its window displays to celebrate the partnership, allowing said Diamond Guests to pose in the displays for up to one hour at a time, in return for a fresh glass of Apple’s new whiskey.

But does it make a sound? United announced that it would soon be trimming management ranks within the company. This move has been widely anticipated since United became the first company to ever elect a tree as acting president. The trimming will take place at the end of January and United employees are allowed to take home a few twigs and leaves in commemoration of the first trimming.

Old friends. United’s had a busy week. The airline also announced that it would be retiring its fleet of Boeing 747 jets ahead of schedule. “While we’re at it, we’re going to retire a few dinosaurs as well,” added Scott Kirby, the airline’s new president. The historic jet will join the ranks of the fondly-remembered and equally historic T-Rex in the Natural History Museum.

To the future! John F. Kennedy International Airport has undergone some major changes over its lifetime. While Terminal City was a brilliant invention, the main problem has always been getting between terminals, which is why New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing a series of pressurized vacuum tubes to “zoop” passengers quickly from one terminal to another. The mayor cited the popular animated show Futurama as his main inspiration.

Yabba dabba zoom. Christian Stampfer reports from the 2017 North American International Auto Show with the latest on car tech and news. This year, Toyota wants to take clean fuel to the next level, and announced a zero-emissions vehicle made from sustainably sourced granite and powered by humans… 2016, meet the Flintstones.

Rogue two. Paul Riegler gets behind the wheel of the 2017 Nissan Rogue SL AWD. This is the first Nissan Rogue to deliver on its promise: occasionally the vehicle will disobey the driver’s instructions and “go rogue,” taking its passengers to a fun and unpredictable destination. There’s no way to override Rogue Mode, so you should always be prepared with a full water bottle, snacks, and a blanket in case the car wants you to spend the night somewhere.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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