Computerised cars are smart, but their designers have proven pretty dumb, at VW at least. With most household products looking at an unavoidable digital destiny, the question has to be asked — how clever are factory bosses in the home appliance sector? LG fell into the trap of using defeat devices on fridges, while more recently at least one TV maker seems to be smelling more of diesel fumes than roses.
Wednesday was the hottest July day ever recorded in the UK, France, Netherlands and Spain, and roasting temperatures in Germany, Austria and many other countries saw people reaching for the air con’. That cool blast is paradise for most, but became a nightmare for power grid managers in France facing spiking demand.
Southern Europe is facing a heat wave this week and Western European countries have been issuing heat warnings as temperatures climb to 40C. Half of Portugal is already suffering extreme to severe drought, and the Joint Research Centre says much of the continent is facing the worst drought in a decade. So EU plans to make taps and showers more efficient are surely welcome, but why the delay?