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Comment: Re:This helmet scares me. (Score 1) 126

by Blrfl (#47666121) Attached to: Android Motorcycle Helmet/HUD Gains Funding

I'm not convinced that the high dollar helmets are any safer than the cheaper ones.

If you want more convincing, the UK government has a database of helmet ratings that's very enlightening. There are one- and two-star helmets in the same price ranges as the four- and five-star models.

Comment: Re:Oh man (Score 3, Insightful) 126

by Blrfl (#47665959) Attached to: Android Motorcycle Helmet/HUD Gains Funding

I mean you're looking at less than $100 in raw parts for GPS + Arduino + HD Camera + display controller/OSD. Not sure about the HUD part but I believe it's just a projection on a small piece of glass, probably also less than $100 in parts by itself not to mention alternative hardware implementations that might be cheaper. Add $300 for a decent helmet, wire it up and you're done.

Yep, and what you'll have when you finish is a kludged-up helmet that does nothing unless you manage to source the hard-to-obtain Arduino Motorcycle Helmet Edition that does all of the navigation, phone interface, etc. You're also assuming you'll get it completely right the first time. which you won't, because nobody does. Price in a few helmets and at least two sets of hardware and you're already into the same price as a finished AR1. Don't forget the value of your time to do all of the hardware integration and write all of that nifty software.

More fun: Your modifications will invalidate any safety certifications the helmet you started with, making it not legal for road use almost everywhere. As a free bonus, you'll get to ride around with a niggling question in the back of your head about whether or not the helmet will do its job properly during a crash.

Personally I think I would find the HUD hardware incredibly distracting. Not the HUD itself mind you, but the stalk that sticks up in front of your eye.

If the photos I've seen reflect what will be produced, it doesn't stick up any further than the breath guard, is in a location where vision is not all that important and isn't any larger than Legal Speeding's H.A.R.D., which is often installed in the same spot.

Comment: Re:It's 2014 now (Score 1) 345

by Blrfl (#47284497) Attached to: Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

The range problem has vanished if your benchmark is bikes with tanks so small they have a range of about 150 km. I ride further than that before my first stop most days. The benchmarks for range are touring and sport-touring bikes with large tanks that are capable of 350-450 km between stops.

When an electric finishes the Iron Butt Rally, I'll say the range and charge time problems are licked.

Comment: Re:Doppler effect (Score 1) 345

by Blrfl (#47284341) Attached to: Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

More likely, you live in a place where there are surfaces behind the riders for the noise to reflect and bounce back in your direction.

Go to a wide open area sometime and have anything with an audible exhaust drive by you. You'll hear a lot more if it as heads away than when it's coming toward you.

Comment: Re:Dead on arrival (not) (Score 1) 345

by Blrfl (#47280593) Attached to: Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle electric bike that is faster and better performing than any gas bike could ever be...

I'm as excited about electrics as the next guy, but there's a fistful of gassers that will run rings around the current crop of electrics on performance measures alone and an armload if you factor range into it. That will change, but I'm not holding my breath for something that fits my needs (fast, comfortable and capable of 500-mile days without gaps in the middle) in the next 5-7 years.

The Livewire has marginally better torque- and power-to-weight ratios than HD's Sportster 883, which isn't a stellar performer by any measure. What it does have is full torque available from zero, and that makes it a good (but not fantastic) stoplight racer.

Comment: Re:Middlemen (Score 1) 342

by Blrfl (#46462679) Attached to: New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla

That's a red herring. Why would patients all of a sudden have to understand the ICDs? Will doctors start telling them they have severe cases of 681.02 instead of hangnails?

The insurance industry makes medical billing complex because there's a financial benefit in doing it. The ICDs are just a classification shorthand developed by the World Health Organization for statistical purposes. The insurance industry uses them for its own benefit, which is just fine; if there's a standard, it should be used.

Comment: Re:Have you ever built something that worked ... (Score 1) 305

by Blrfl (#44080017) Attached to: Google Respins Its Hiring Process For World Class Employees

What I tell people about hobby projects is that I tend to do them only if I'm not getting my software ya-yas out at work. Keep me busy with interesting work and almost 100% of my development energy will be yours.

That said, I do write a bit of software outside of work even when work is good. Those cases are the little things that pop up when I have a need I can't easily find something to satisfy.

Comment: Re:Reading these comments about Agile... (Score 1) 349

by Blrfl (#43822723) Attached to: World's Biggest 'Agile' Software Project Close To Failure

Hee hee. I worked for Jack in the early 1980s when he had a teeny little company called Softaid. He had a very down-to-earth take on things, and I suppose that extended to today, he'd advocate picking the tools that make sense. The zealots seem to be the ones that adopt things blindly and hope they'll work, all while declaring those who don't adhere to the "one, true way" as apostates.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.