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Comment Re:Seat switch? (Score 1) 519

Huh? That Kaiser, Willys, AMC, etc. stuff is all ancient history. Patents only last 20 years. Maybe if they've come up with some new patentable stuff since 1996, sure, but anything older than that is public domain now. And I have a hard time believing anything really all that new and valuable has been done with 4WD since 1996. AWD is a different story; there's been a lot of advances there, but that hasn't been with Jeep, that's been with the Japanese and Euros, especially Subaru. Mazda's even got some new on-demand AWD system in their CUVs which they claim doesn't even have a fuel economy impact, aside from the added weight of the system.

Comment Re:Just a thought... (Score 0) 206

Just as an aside, it isn't reverse discrimination. There is no such thing, logically speaking.

Inasmuch as the phrase 'reverse discrimination' more precisely describes a phenomenon than the more general 'discrimination' speakers will employ it.

As "logical" as you approach might be, it functions only by decontextualising discrimination. And by positing various discriminations as abstract and equal, "just as racist|sexist" one blind oneself to any systemic cultural biases which might operate against subaltern groups. It is not as though the prevalence of the biases that exist in a culture represent merely the sum total of individual decisions to be biased in any particular direction, any more than the prevalence of English use in anglophone countries can be explained by the sum total of individual choices made by speakers.

In contradistinction to this neat decontextualised logical analysis, an empirical study should turn up actual systemic discrimination where such discrimination exists. But it might turn up more. In a culture where it has become possible to appreciate systemic bias within that culture, individuals (and here we are more likely dealing with the deliberate and reflective decisions of individual members) may decide to (over)compensate for the systemic biases they perceive to operate. That particular form of discrimination, as distinct from others, is 'reverse discrimination' and one needs to account for the possibility that it is affecting observations.

Thus while it may not make much sense purely in the abstract, in real-word situations it has obviously become necessary to discriminate be 'discrimination' generally and 'reverse discrimination' in particular.

Comment Re:Emergency Brake? (Score 1) 519

It's not just that. When you're cruising on the highway, you're not shifting, so that part is taken out of the equation. But automatics all have higher highway fuel economy figures than manuals in the same vehicle/engine. It's because of gearing: they make the gears taller for automatics than for manuals, so at highway speeds the manual driver's engine is buzzing at 1000rpm higher. With an auto, you can afford to have the engine speed lower because it's so fast and easy to downshift when needed. They probably don't offer a really tall 6th gear for manual drivers because they'd complain about having to constantly downshift it on hills or for passing, or they'd be lugging their engines.

Comment Re:Emergency Brake? (Score 1) 519

An "autostick" transmission is just an automatic that lets you override the computer for gear changes. My Mazda3 has one of these. They're extremely common these days. They do shift smoothly, as you'd expect of an automatic.

What you're talking about is a "DSG" transmission. That's really different, and you're right, they do shift extremely quickly but more jerkily than a normal auto. Theoretically, they have better performance and fuel economy than normal autos, since there's no torque converter. They're also pretty rare: only VW-group cars and some Fords have them to my knowledge. There's been a lot of reliability complaints about the Ford ones.

Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 519

Oh for fuck's sake, are you really this stupid? Here's a fucking link:
http://www.amazon.com/Hakko-FX...

$96.72. No, it's probably not the most expensive Hakko station. There's also this one:

http://www.amazon.com/AMERICAN...

At $236.40, it's still less than half of that mythical $500 Hakko. Hakkos have never been highly expensive. I got my first Hakko (a 936 IIRC) over a decade ago for less than $100 at Fry's.

You need at least 2 temp settings for two dif solder types, you need quick and intuitive airflow manipulation for rework.

There's no "airflow manipulation" on a soldering station. You're thinking of a "SMT rework station", which is something else altogether. A "soldering station" is a soldering iron that's temperature-controlled, and usually has a handy stand with sponge and/or brass mesh for tip cleaning.

Yes, the ~$200 rework stations are indeed Chinese and not terribly high-quality. However, they actually work just fine for hot-air rework in my experience. (The soldering iron side, on the other hand, is complete junk.)

Comment Re:Emergency Brake? (Score 1) 519

New cars don't even have keys to start, they have keyless push-button starting systems that are integrated with the ECU. I'd like to see you try to start one with push-starting. A 2000 Neon is seriously old; that's 16 years old now, things have changed a lot. I'm not saying it's impossible because I'm not one of the engineers who's worked on these things, but I'm seriously doubting it'd work because of the way these things are tied together now: I'm betting the ECU would simply not continue to run the engine because it never got a signal from the push-button start module directing it to start the engine.

Comment Re: Emergency Brake? (Score 1) 519

Yes, it's not steer-by-wire, it's just an electric motor bolted onto the steering shaft to provide assist. Otherwise it's a totally standard rack-and-pinion steering system. Remember the old days when small cars didn't even have hydraulic assist, and had completely manual rack-and-pinion steering? Now slap an electric motor onto the steering shaft close to where it connects by U-joint to the rack, and you have a modern EPS system. The whole idea is that you really don't need much (if any) assist at highway speeds, so it doesn't bother wasting power at those times, only at low speeds. Mechanically, the system is pretty simple; I'm sure the only reason they didn't do this before is because the motor control aspect was too difficult and expensive to do before; now with modern power electronics and microcontrollers it's not. Being able to electronically drive a motor in either direction in a very exact manner to precise angular positions, and for a price reasonable for a mass-market car, is actually a pretty new thing. It just wasn't possible 25 years ago, unless you were willing to spend a ton of money and have a huge box full of electronics.

As for feedback, that's probably due to design; they might have provided a bit too much assist or overcompensated for resistance from the wheels or something. Every car's is different of course. A lot of the early EPS systems were criticized for being too numb. The one in my Mazda seems to work really well, but I can see how a Chrysler probably isn't as driver-oriented given the target market.

Comment Re:User error (Score 1) 519

I'm not saying the differential between the automatic and the manual is all that much these days, it's not, but if you are on the highway the manual is going to be better.

You're 100% wrong, for new cars. Go look at *any* 2015-16 car offered in both manual and automatic and compare the highway fuel economy (and the city economy too, while you're at it). The automatic will *always* beat the manual.

There's a simple reason for this: modern automatics have at least as many speeds as manuals, and their tallest gears are taller than those on the manuals. The manual simply cannot get equivalent fuel economy when it's running the engine 1000rpm higher in 6th gear. And there's a simple reason for this: automatics are close to lugging the engine, but they don't dip low enough to cause problems because they just downshift when they need to, since they can do it in milliseconds. Manual drivers can't, so they make the gear ratios lower so a driver stomping on the gas in 6th when passing on the highway actually gets some throttle response instead of lugging the engine. Also, I think there's an assumption that manual drivers just don't care about fuel economy so they intentionally pick lower ratios (and final-drive ratio) for better performance.

Comment Re:I own one of these. . . (Score 1) 519

* I own one of these vehicles, and I can attest that the shifter design is awkward and confusing.

* The shifter paddles are another gripe...

* And the design fails are not limited to the shifter.

* All the controls in this vehicle are a user interface disaster.

* After owning mine for more than a year, I still find it awkward

* ...the touch screen interface for the infotainment and climate control still befuddles me at some times and infuriates me at others.

* And just to add an extra special touch of irritation,...

* The utter failure of the Jeep's user interface was really pounded home to me when I was loaned a Tesla Model S for a week and a half.

So why exactly did you buy this vehicle? Did you even test-drive it first? Please tell me that at least you were forced into the purchase by your overbearing wife or something (trust me, I know how that is... :-( ).

Programming

Women Get Pull Requests Accepted More (Except When You Know They're Women) (peerj.com) 206

An anonymous reader writes: In the largest study of gender bias [in programming] to date, researchers found that women tend to have their pull requests accepted at a higher rate than men, across a variety of programming languages. This, despite the finding that their pull requests are larger and less likely to serve an immediate project need. At the same time, when the gender of the women is identifiable (as opposed to hidden), their pull requests are accepted less often than men's.

Comment Re:Emergency Brake? (Score 1) 519

For emissions purposes cars in Japan can't be driven past around 30,000 miles or so unless you give them a major overhaul, engine rebuild, etc.

I seriously doubt that's the reason. From what I've read, the reason they ship used cars out of Japan is because of the taxation scheme: unlike here in America where you're taxed based on the car's assessed (blue-book) value, making it really cheap to keep an old car if you ignore repair costs, in Japan the tax gets much higher as the car gets older, so it doesn't make financial sense to keep an older car. They might claim that's for emissions purposes, but that's probably a lie; it's probably just to stimulate the economy by getting car-owners to continually buy new cars.

Modern Japanese-made cars easily last well over 100k miles, and pretty easily 200k and up, at least the ones they sell here in the US. 30k is barely broken in: the car is probably making **more** emissions in the first 5k miles than it is at 30k. Modern cars don't even need any real service for the first 100k miles aside from tire rotations and oil changes (and even those are being stretched to 10k-15k miles). It's not like the Japanese carmakers are going to make their engines completely different for the JDM market, so it's not amazing at all that they're still going at 100k miles. They do that here in the US all the time.

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