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Comment: Re:Financial gains over safety (Score 1) 386

by Captain Hook (#48195117) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

Either they totally overestimated the speeding issue, or they underestimated the dissuasive effect of those cameras (which means they work actually pretty well... assuming they are correctly placed).

In both cases, a data set of vehicle speed at the site in the year before and after the cameras were introduced would be very useful.

Case 1: No change in traffic speed
Case 2: Dramatic reduction in traffic speed

Assuming they had that data set.

Case 1: would be kept as quiet as possible because it means the camera were either not needed for safety or not put in for safety.

Case 2: would be shouted from the rooftops (from both the local authority and the company running the scheme) because it would have shown a positive safety effect which is how these scheme are always sold as being a benefit to the community.

Comment: Re:Oh look it's mdsolar again (Score 1, Insightful) 120

by Captain Hook (#47653379) Attached to: Gas Cooled Reactors Shut Down In UK

The system and safety protocols are working precisely as they were designed.

Actually, the faults were found by chance, there wasn't a specific check for this which could be scheduled and signed off, it was just an engineer noticed something odd while doing other inspections.

So while you are right in that this is not a huge safety issue and we weren't minutes from disaster, I wouldn't agree that the system and safety protocols are particularly brilliant either.

Comment: Re:Software Documentation is bad everywhere (Score 2) 430

The stories would be of the form:

As a user, I want to change my password...

But they generally won't say that the means to do that should be a link from the user account page or what the steps of the process would be. Now for something simple like a a password change, there are generally well defined industry best practices that both the developer and the end user are probably aware of and so both have a common conception of what should happen. That isn't true for functions specific to the application or domain.

There is a big gap between User Story and implementation specific documentation.

Comment: Re:That's how I clean my cat's litter box. (Score 3, Insightful) 58

I would have intuitively said the other way around.

Since the gravity is so small I would have expected the motion of the smallest particles to be close to random, perhaps close to Brownian motion if you looked at the system over a long enough period of time.

I guess, even though there isn't much to pull the material together, once a small particle is in a crack or void it is very unlikely to ever escape and so the crack does eventually fill in, it seems to me that the process should exist but be much slower than when compared to the effect in a strong gravity field.

As you said, "Intuitively, which we all know is probably wrong"

Comment: Re: Political/Moral (Score 3, Insightful) 305

by Captain Hook (#47358419) Attached to: How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

I'm not sure you understood the GP's point. In fact you seem to have interpreted it completely backwards.

Allowing the companies making the loans to go bust, rather than trying to protect them by not allowing Student Loans to be cleared by bankruptcy is the attenuation that you are looking for. It's sends a clear message to other companies loaning money that there are risks and that they should be filtering potential customers.

Comment: Re:Political/Moral (Score 2) 305

by Captain Hook (#47358371) Attached to: How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

If economists had known in advance of one of the great depressions that it was going to happen, and releasing the results would of only sped-up the collapse, should they release the information?

The earlier the bubble is burst, the small the correction needs to be and the quicker the recovery afterwards can be. Knowing a burst will happen, it is ethical to make the information public as quickly as possible.

The tricky bit comes when you are 55% sure of a crash, but knowing that making those fears known publicly will definitely cause a crash. How sure do you need to be before it is worth causing a small crash to offset the chance of a bigger crash later on? 60%, 70%, 80%?

Swap read error. You lose your mind.