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Comment: Re:Drive By Wire not really the problem (Score 1) 913

by CausticPuppy (#30980694) Attached to: Toyota Pedal Issue Highlights Move To Electronics

"Just need to solve hills where the driver may need throttle and brake simultaneously to start moving, and it should work."

That problem has already been solved, too. Some manual transmission cars have a "hill start assist" that hold the brakes for a couple seconds to allow easy starts up hills, without rolling backwards. The brakes are released the instant any forward force is detected. It makes starting uphill virtually identical to starting on a level surface. Seems like that should be applicable to auto transmissions as well, which can also roll back a bit before the torque converter locks up.

I like the idea of having a purely mechanical way of removing power to the wheels, which can be done instantaneously in a panic; and that is why I don't trust cars with fewer than 3 pedals!

Comment: Not actually brake fade (Score 3, Insightful) 913

by CausticPuppy (#30980566) Attached to: Toyota Pedal Issue Highlights Move To Electronics

Brake fade is what happens when the brakes get overheated, they become less effective.

However, what happens when the engine is at wide open throttle is the same thing that happens when the engine is off: you lose vacuum assist. You'll have enough for maybe 2 pumps of the pedal and that's it. Once your vacuum assist is gone, you're relying 100% on the pressure of your foot on the brake via the hydraulic system to stop the car. If you've ever tried to use the brake pedal when coasting with the engine off, you know how hard that is.

So if you are ever in a "unintended acceleration" situation, push the brake down as hard as you can and do NOT let it back up. You will probably destroy your brakes in the process but that's better than the alternative.

The whole move to electronics is somewhat disconcerting. Computer software will always have bugs, and modern cars have computer software that controls the throttle, and the transmission shifter. Always make sure you know how to shift into neutral in a panic. On my car, it's easy: just push down the clutch pedal.

Comment: Re:Listen to the suits (Score 3, Insightful) 844

by CausticPuppy (#30906022) Attached to: Is Programming a Lucrative Profession?

If you listen to people who don't do tech work talk about techies, you'll quickly realize that a lot of them do in fact put techies on roughly the same level as mechanics or bricklayers.

Except they have no problems asking tech people to do free work.

"Oh, you're a bricklayer? Hey, can you stop by sometime and replace the bricks on my front sidewalk? I'll give you a beer...."


Review Scores the "Least Important Factor" When Buying Games 169

Posted by Soulskill
from the arbitrary-numbers-are-arbitrary dept.
A recent report from a games industry analyst suggests that among a number of factors leading to the purchase of a video game — such as price, graphics and word of mouth — the game's aggregated review score is the least important measure. Analyst Doug Creutz said, "We believe that while Metacritic scores may be correlated to game quality and word of mouth, and thus somewhat predictive of title performance, they are unlikely in and of themselves to drive or undermine the success of a game. We note this, in part, because of persistent rumors that some game developers have been jawboning game reviewers into giving their games higher critical review scores. We believe the publishers are better served by spending their time on the development process than by 'grade-grubbing' after the fact."

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)