BILL SCANNELL FELL DOWN A RABBIT HOLE. All he wanted was to disable a device in his car: An always-on, net-connected “helper” that provides the car’s driver with app connections, turn-by-turn navigation, and roadside assistance… at the expense of personal driving data. Similar devices track how fast you’re going, how hard you ride the brakes, even your final destination. And all that info gets sent back to the manufacturer. Scannell wanted out. Unfortunately, it was easier said than done.
Selfridges, for the uninitiated, is a century-old, upper-crusty British department store (founded by an American expat; go figure). Its home base is a many-columned palace on Oxford Street in London, famous for its window displays and a foie-gras-related spat with topless animal-rights activists.
A FORMULA 1 RACER IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A RACE, dozens of laps to go. Everyone’s zooming over 300kph. But it’s time for repairs and tyre changes — time for a pit stop. The racer pulls in. Close to two dozen workers swarm on the vehicle. The car rises on jacks, all four tyres are changed, the driver's helmet visor is cleaned, the jacks drop and the car bolts away.