Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:How do you pull over a driverless car? (Score 1) 626

by Christian Henry (#47099391) Attached to: Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

Hmmm... if only there was some way to use sound as a data communications medium...

Around my area, the police will do the following:

  1. First pull up behind you with their lights flashing.
  2. If that doesn't work (ie. if you fail to pull over to the side, as required by law, when a police car/ambulance/fire truck comes behind you), they'll do a few quick bursts of that horn/siren hybrid.
  3. Finally, if all else fails, they're use their siren.

I cannot see a driverless car knowing how to deal with the first two above points, by which time you'll be dealing with a very irate police officer.

Comment: Re:Space is cheap, rip to FLAC (Score 2) 329

by Christian Henry (#47000851) Attached to: Your Old CD Collection Is Dying

That doesn't quite do it. FLAC is great for the individual tracks, but there is also information about inter-track gaps. If you lose that, playing the album won't sound right if any of the tracks are supposed to flow into the next one. This isn't an issue for probably 90% of the CDs out there, but for the remaining ones, it's important to get them to play correctly.

I've noticed the same problem when ripping old vinyl albums and playing them on an MP3 player. When the tracks used to flow, there's now a gap, and it can be really annoying.

Weird... My MP3s made from my individual-track FLACs of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and "Dark Side of the Moon" don't seem to have this problem.

Comment: Re:This has little to do with copyright law (Score 1) 252

by Christian Henry (#46950383) Attached to: $200 For a Bound Textbook That You Can't Keep?

When I lease a car, I pay less than if I were paying off a loan.

Leasing a car is universally stupid. You lose in every way. If you have more money than brains, sure, have at it, but its never a good deal. You could hire someone to do all the grunt work of selling the used car at the end of the time period and still not waste as much as leasing.

Leasing is a trick used to con people into buying cars they can't afford or are too stupid to realize they are being ripped off.

I see you've never run your own incorporated business (or if you did, you never consulted an accountant).

Strictly for cashflow and bookkeeping reasons, as the owner of a small incorporated business, I strongly prefer to lease an asset rather than acquiring a loan for said asset. My annual taxes are simpler and I get to claim the full amount at tax time (rather than the depreciated amount only).

As an additional bonus, for cars such as BMWs and Audis, which due to strong used car market demands tend to have a high resale value (meaning, the lease company will calculate a higher percentage residual value at end-of-lease time compared to, say, a North American Ford or Hyundai), my experience has shown that I've traditionally paid less for a flashy mid-to-high-end car than I would have paid for the equivalent "domestic" car.

Comment: Re:The actual technical fault. (Score 1) 865

by Christian Henry (#46930885) Attached to: Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

>How about the ability to turn to "off" to stop an engine affected by a stuck accelerator? This is the reason I oppose moving to a push-button system. We've already seen at least one person have an uncontrolled acceleration problem and not have a key to turn off. Push-button HAS to include an emergency cutoff switch. Requiring the user to hold in a button for several seconds to stop the engine is not acceptable.

This is the reason? What's wrong with "shove the car into neutral", which at least will prevent the steering column from locking (allowing you to coast to an orderly stop). Any automatic transmission vehicle, built for North American regulations, within at least the past two decades will allow you to do this without even touching the brake pedal.

Comment: Re:I'm a non-degree slacker (Score 1) 655

I graduated Grade 12 in the early 80's. Was going to go for a CS degree but put it off for a year while I worked. Then another year went by, and so on. Back then, the vast bulk of "nerds" loved this stuff as a hobby and could slide into a work role easy enough. Then people started going to school to 'learn teh computerz' as it seemed like an easy way to make cash. Those are the folks who were dumped during the dot-bomb. Fact is many of the best IT folks I know who also have excellent technical skill were self-taught.

Same with me, but during the mid-90's.

For the first five years of my work life, I'd half-seriously tell my friends that I was getting paid to do what I would already have been doing in the first place.

Comment: Re:As someone who runs an IT company (Score 1) 655

Not at all. My expectations are usually along these lines: "Hey, Person J says her computer keeps locking up. Can you go figure out what's going on?"

Good IT: "Sure." "Turns out she had installed a toolbar that kept popping up a hidden prompt for her to click on. It's all cleaned up now, and she is good to go."

Bad IT: "Sure." "The screen seems frozen. What do I do?" "Ok, I hit alt+tab, and there seems to be a prompt. What do I do?" etc.

Real IT Person: "That's against company policy to unfreeze this computer"

Real IT Person: "Did you try turning it off and back on again?"

Real IT Person: "Hold on while I ask my colleague..." **CLICK** <dialtone>

Comment: Re:Next billboards close the street, please. (Score 1) 516

by Christian Henry (#39477085) Attached to: NHTSA Suggestion Would Cripple In-Car GPS Displays

Drivers should focus on the street and the traffic and not being distracted by some ads.

You bring up a great point actually, especially in the day of the electronic billboard. They're all over the place here, it's like looking at a HUGE TV screen...gee no distraction there...

You should see some of the ones Bell Canada uses around here (Toronto, Ontario, Canada area). Along one highway, there's one in particular that's so damned bright, I once drove past when it instantly flipped from a dark ad to an almost-100%-white ad, and almost swerved into the next lane over due to reflex action.

Comment: Re:Want a great example? (Score 1) 516

by Christian Henry (#39477055) Attached to: NHTSA Suggestion Would Cripple In-Car GPS Displays

"I would argue that the reason we have analogue displays is that they are easier to comprehend."

This was the argument in car circles once digital readouts started to become popular. Some enthusiasts, apparently looking at Sopwith Camels and P51 Mustangs pointed out that these high performance aircraft used analog, so that must be best.

The argument fell apart when it was pointed out that the latest aircraft both commercial and military all used digital readout because it got information to the pilot faster.

The argument pretty much ended. I *prefer* analog gauges, but I realize they're not better, they simply look more elegant to my 20th century brain,

Personally, I find digital gauges (including clocks / watches) require more "thinking" for me to interpret. If someone asks me, "How fast are we driving?" a digital gauge will allow me to quickly answer, "110 km/h." However, it will take me a second or two to "internalise" how fast I'm driving.

With an analogue gauge, if someone asks me the same question, it'll take me the additional second or two to convert the needle position into "110 km/h", but I instantly will be able to see, "Oh, I'm going a few km/h above 100 km/h."

I have the same issues with watches. With a digital watch, I easily can figure out the current time. To figure out how long I have, say, until I need to get out the door to go to work, it'll take me longer to figure out with a digital watch. With an analogue watch, I find it easier to figure out I have, "about a quarter of an hour" until I need to leave.

Comment: Re:My phone has a camera (Score 1) 652

by Christian Henry (#39198367) Attached to: Rearview Car Cameras Likely Mandated By 2014

Just like GP says: on most cars, with the mirrors properly adjusted, a vehicle exiting the field of view of the rear-view mirror will simultaneously cross into the side mirrors, and exit the side mirrors as it enters your peripheral vision. A quick sideways glance may be required to pick it back up at this point, but in most cases it should be nearly alongside you once it's out of the mirrors (this is not strictly true in, say, a convertible with the top up, but it still holds in most cases). This isn't to discount the importance of a good long look before changing lanes, but generally, you should be able to have constant 360-degree situational awareness without craning your neck around the B-pillars.

Should be able to. In my case, at 6'3", the following vehicles are physically incapable of having their mirrors adjusted properly (typical issue: I cannot move the driver's side mirror out far enough, or the mirror is too close for me to get the proper angle, even when the right side of the mirror allows an even transition to the left side of the rear view mirror):

  • VW Golf (*any* year)
  • Honda CR-V (*any* year)
  • Hyundai Sonata (at least any model made after 2005)
  • Nissan Versa 5-door

There are other's, but the above are ones I'm intimately familiar with.

Comment: Re:My phone has a camera (Score 1) 652

by Christian Henry (#39198259) Attached to: Rearview Car Cameras Likely Mandated By 2014

> And every time I'm on the expressway, I wish I had a camera for my blind spots.

You're doing it wrong. Seriously, when you mirrors are _properly_ configured in a car you should NOT have ANY blind spots.

Angle your mirrors out more. You should be able to track a car in your rearview mirror, to your side mirror, to the right/left WITHOUT moving your head.

Most people "toe in" their mirrors WAY too much, which means they need to move forward to see "more." This is inefficient, lazy, and just bad (as in accident prone.)

Seriously, you're being dense.

At my height (6'3"), a significant number of vehicles do *not* allow me to set my mirrors this way, no matter how hard I try. The main issue is the mirrors are designed to *not* move far enough out so that I can cover the blind spot between the edge of the rear view mirror and my direct vision, even when I'm looking 90 degrees to the left or right. Sure, if I shrank 6 inches and moved my seat far enough forwards so my chest touches the steering wheel, I could eliminate the blind spots from most vehicles, but this obviously isn't reasonable.

Also, with some cars (hatchbacks, especially, including the current-model Nissan Versa), the "C" pillar is so large that it's *very* easy for a motorcycle or bicycle to fall out of sight, no matter how well you position either or both of the side mirrors.

Don't automatically assume that all vehicles have mirrors that can be properly adjusted.

"Once they go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department." -- Werner von Braun

Working...