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Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 803

by russotto (#49743823) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

He's probably heard something somewhere and made a stupid assumption. Road wear is heavily influenced by the pressure between the tire and the road. (ie: the weight per square inch. Or pounds per square inch). And little to do with the pressure _inside_ the tire. (It has _some_ effect, higher tire pressures generally reduce the tire's footprint on the road, increasing the contact PSI.)

Pressure inside the tire and pressure between tire and the road are very close to equal. A 120psi bicycle tire really is putting 120psi on the contact patch. And this has a small practical effect: in very soft asphalt you can sometimes see ruts caused by bicycles.

But road damage isn't entirely dictated by tire pressure

Comment: Re:You can ban these so-called "tools" AFAIK. (Score 5, Interesting) 120

by russotto (#49743645) Attached to: US Proposes Tighter Export Rules For Computer Security Tools

David Sternlight is that you? You know you can legally buy both ski masks and crow bars, right? In fact, I think REI sells ski masks, crow bars (cleverly disguised as climbing hardware), and backpacks all in the same store, and they haven't been shut down yet.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 803

by russotto (#49740973) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

A 5,000lb car causes more than twice the wear of two 2,500lb cars.

The oft-quoted 4th power law is a rule of thumb which holds only in the axle weight range of heavy trucks. On roads meant to handle heavy trucks, a 5,000lb car and two 2,500lb cars do just about the same amount of damage, which is none at all. A certain amount of light traffic actually reduces total damage by suppressing growth of vegetation.

On roads not meant to handle heavy trucks, damage by weight has as far as I know not been studied in a systemic manner.

Comment: Re:Weight/Milage combination (Score 1) 803

by russotto (#49739035) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

There's at least two classes of damage to the road

1) Damage attributable directly to vehicle traffic. On a road used by heavy trucks, this is essentially 100% caused by heavy trucks. A Suburban versus a Prius makes no real difference.

2) Damage due to weather, time, nature, etc. This damage makes more sense to apportion out by mileage to the road users regardless of weight.

Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 4, Insightful) 803

by hey! (#49736133) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Well, with electronic toll-paying that could work, but it would still shift the burden from low MPG to high MPG cars.

The great thing about a gas tax is that it's a simple way to kill two birds with one stone: encouraging higher mileage and paying for infrastructure. The problem is that not everyone agrees that both birds are important. Two-birders think that high mileage vehicles should be discouraged because of externalized costs -- pollution mainly, but also space required in parking lots, greater risk to other road users etc. One-birders don't care about externalities but understand that the roads and bridges need to be repaired. Zero-birders are just idiots.

I'm a two-birder myself, so raising the gas tax is a no-brainer. I'd also issue everyone a flat rebate per driver, because in fact I'm a three-birder: I'm concerned about the effect of a regressive tax on the working poor who have no options but to drive to their jobs.

But I'm also a realist. There are a lot of one-birders out there and the roads need repair. It's also politically easier in one-birder territory to sell something as a fee rather than as a tax, even though from my perspective that's an irrelevant difference if you're raising the same revenue either way.

Comment: Re:I wonder how long... (Score 3, Insightful) 49

Well, they're already opting to have damaged natural joints like hips and knees replaced. That's a case of upgrading from natural to artificial to gain function. As the performance of artificial limbs increase, it might become an increasingly commonplace treatment for older people, just like knee or hip replacement.

If we project that trend forward for twenty or thirty years I wouldn't be surprised at all to see artificial legs that outperform natural legs for the purposes of walking or even running. But I don't think people with normal abilities will be trading in their limbs just to be able walk a little longer, run a little faster, or carry more weight. That won't happen until the replacement is subjectively indistinguishable from the real thing; until you can feel the grass under your toes.

I'm comfortable predicting locomotion parity in the next fifty years, but I wouldn't care to speculate on when we'll see sensory parity.

Comment: Once more into the breech, dear friends. (Score 3, Insightful) 100

by hey! (#49735075) Attached to: US Levels Espionage Charges Against 6 Chinese Nationals

I have no problem with going after people who steal trade secrets, anything more than I have a problem with going after people who steal nuclear secrets. The only thing is that the FBI has a long history of racist paranoia about Chinese scientists, from Quan Xuesen in the early 50s to Wen Ho Lee in the 90s.

Rhwew may well of a legitimate case against these guys and if they do I hope they nail the bastards. But I'm not jumping to any conclusions based on FBI say-so.

Comment: Re:beat that straw man, beat it hard (Score 1) 150

by hey! (#49735011) Attached to: Survey: 2/3 of Public Sector Workers Wouldn't Report a Security Breach

You're the one worried about passwords that can be broken in 25 years; that's a non-issue. The issue is security that works well enough for long enough and is workable for the users. Impressive sounding, inflated requirements means something else has to give: price, performance, or usability.

Comment: Re:Password updating (Score 1) 150

by hey! (#49734339) Attached to: Survey: 2/3 of Public Sector Workers Wouldn't Report a Security Breach

Well, once you've cracked the VPN traffic the password is almost a secondary concern, isn't it?

This is the wrong way to think about security, e.g. for a hypothetical world where users adhere to anything you demand of them no matter how intrusive or onerous that is. In reality if you decide that usability and convenience aren't factors in your planning then that's actually an oversight which will come back to bite you on the ass someday. The only thing you can say for that approach of wishing usability away is that when disaster comes you'll be able to point the finger of blame at the users -- even though their non-adherence is a predictable result of your poor understanding of system requirements.

Comment: Re:Last sentence (Score 1) 228

by vux984 (#49734147) Attached to: Marvel's Female Superheroes Are Gradually Becoming More Super

Yep, I read it the other way.

The fact that the gender wasn't mentioned in the summary at all let alone the sentence he singled out; led me to initially assume he'd just assumed it was a boy. So I read it as:

I read it as:

  "A boy did this, so what?... why wouldn't a girl be able to?"

I realized as the thread developed that he meant:

  "A girl did this; why would we think she couldn't?"

And he originally replied to the thread himself essentially confirming this and also WTFing the fact that the gender he thought was in the summary wasn't actually present. /shrug. one of those cases where I wish I could at least edit posts or add an update to them after the fact...

Comment: Re:Compelling? (Score 1) 241

by vux984 (#49733383) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

because some instances below that cutoff would be dogs with the new OS and it's not worth their time to figure out exactly which combinations of hardware would work and which wouldn't.

So they publish their minimum requirements. And then if the user wants to try it on a system older than that or there is hardware in the system no longer officially supported by the OS, then that's up to the user. Windows

And even on phones, all you needed was the option to go back. Its not like there was any reason that you should have had to "live through that hell".

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340