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Comment: Re:Free market (Score 1) 353

by Brianwa (#46627967) Attached to: If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?

The constraints on taxis in Seattle are garbage. New taxis must be hybrids. Older ones are an impressively ancient fleet of ex-police crown vics converted to run on propane. They're a fucking minority on the street, they could all be 60's muscle cars tuned so rich they can barely turn over and there wouldn't be a measurable difference in air quality in the city. The number of taxi licenses is barely enough to sorta kinda cover an average Saturday night. If there's a big event of any kind (and there's plenty of those), you'll be left waiting in the cold without a ride. If there's a hint of snow on the ground, you'll be left waiting in the cold without a ride. Most of the taxi services operate outside of the rules anyway -- for example, the big "for hire" service that pretends like you have to call in for a ride ahead of time so they're not technically a taxi service but will always pick you up on the street anyway. On the rare occasion they post a picture of the licensed driver, it only sometimes matches the driver you get. They all refuse to take the cheapest route unless you direct them at every turn (and the "for hire" service will quote you a price double their own farebook unless you negotiate in advance).

I regularly have a better taxi experience even as a white guy in 3rd world countries. If the city tried even a tiny bit to use regulation on taxis to help the city, I would stand behind them 100%. As it is, I don't consider the taxi laws in Seattle reasonable or valid until they're put to a legitimate vote by the people.

Comment: Re:sky should be the limit... (Score 2) 314

Yes, "toughness" is a technical term that refers to how much a material can yield before it breaks. In that sense, carbon fiber is not considered to be tough at all.

Crash structures that use CF normally depend on it's tendency to shatter violently at failure. If you watch any recent F1 crash that damages the monocoque, you'll see an explosion of debris -- this is by design. Done right, you can use up some of the crash energy as kinetic energy in the debris. Unfortunately, this is extremely difficult to design and test. It's also more or less a one-time use thing, I would worry that day to day bumps and scratches that happen on road vehicles might reduce the effectiveness of the structure.

The undercarriages of F1 cars are a little different, they generally have an aerodynamic undertray protected by a layer of kevlar (or similar material). This is good at reducing damage from occasional contact with the road surface and minor debris, but it depends on the undertray's ability to flex at impact and has to be replaced fairly often.

Comment: Re:Go Amish? (Score 1) 664

by Brianwa (#46312751) Attached to: Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration
There is generally a one-way valve that maintains brake booster vacuum when the throttle is open, but it's something that can fail and you won't notice it until you need it. It's worse when it happens in a turbo'd car, the turbo spools up and you find yourself with a rock solid brake pedal that stays that way for a few seconds even if you turn the engine off

Comment: Re:Go Amish? (Score 1) 664

by Brianwa (#46312705) Attached to: Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration

Cars did have this a long time ago. School buses had it up through the 90's at least, and firetrucks will probably always have a kill switch due to the potential of taking in combustible stuff through the intake.

Honestly I'm fine with using a key, it's good UI design to have an e-stop system that the user can operate without doing anything special or unusual. The only real danger is how easy it is to accidentally engage the steering column lock at the same time (or overly aggressive anti-theft systems that kick in and leave you dead in the water with no exterior lights...)

However I really don't like the new keyless systems, if I hit something and there are flames pouring out of the engine compartment and I can't get out, I'd much rather physically cut power to the fuel pump (and disable HV on a hybrid) than hold down a button I've never used before for a few seconds to send a request to a likely damaged controller to pretty please start the shutdown sequence.

Comment: Re:multiple choice (Score 1) 371

by Brianwa (#46135507) Attached to: How loud is your primary computer?

Honestly I prefer a little bit of white noise from fan turbulence over quiet electrical noise, without something to drown out the PWM noise I'll occasionally wake up in the middle of the night thinking I have a failing capacitor.

Perhaps that's a sign that I've spent too much of my life messing with electronics.

Comment: Re:yeah, thanks (Score 1) 666

by Brianwa (#45304899) Attached to: Atlanta Man Shatters Coast-to-Coast Driving Record, Averaging 98MPH

Supposedly when my grandad got a 3-day weekend, he would "visit" Texas -- starting in Seattle, passing through California for the heck of it, and making it home in time for work. He had a massive Cadillac that got 13mpg at any speed, so he'd set cruise control for 110 and drive until he had to pull over and take a nap.

I don't know how much of the story is true, but I guess roads were way more open back in the 70's, gas was cheaper, and we have pictures of the Cadillac...

Comment: linksys (Score 1) 458

by Brianwa (#44595881) Attached to: My SSID Is...

Mine was "linksys" for a long time -- not actually the default on my router but it was an open network and I figured most people's computers would already be configured to automatically connect to it.

Now I live in a denser city, everyone secures their networks here and if you don't you'll be hammered with torrent traffic all day.

"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight." -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory

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