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Comment: Re:Do not want (Score 1) 98

by David_Hart (#49563811) Attached to: Smart Headlights Adjust To Aid Drivers In Difficult Conditions

Better to be dead from bad lighting hiding a road hazard than to pay someone for a repair for something. That'll teach them.

At least, you won't have to worry about them in the US. They are illegal. The new adaptive headlights by Audi are not for sale in the US, but are (almost?) everywhere else.

There are better solutions to this particular problem such as collision avoidance systems. I'd rather put money into something that can "see" much further down the road than a complicated lighting system and the driver's natural vision.

Comment: iGoogle and Google+ (Score 1) 323

by David_Hart (#49559359) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

Google doesn't know what it is doing when it comes to social media.

They had a perfectly good landing site for people, iGoogle, that aggregated feeds that people look at daily, including Twitter, Facebook etc. They neglected it and then, without any in depth analysis or community research, shut it down. To "replace" it they launched Google+, the "next Facebook". Most of the iGoogle community then defected either to Facebook or to ighome.

For a social media site to become useful, it needs to reach a certain mass. After all, you aren't going to hang out on a site where it's only you or only you and one other friend. Facebook's "stickyness" is due to practically everyone and their Grandmother having accounts. And, despite the security issues (which Facebook has very slowly improved on), Facebook is good enough that the masses put up with it.

The only reason why Google+ has 2 billion profiles is because they forced everyone to sign up for access to other Google services. While this seems like a good way to reach critical mass, it's acts against the psychology of social media. Most people join social media sites because they want to, not because they are forced to. This breeds a certain amount of resentment against the brand.

It isn't that Google+ is bad or that it isn't somewhat useful, Google just went about it the wrong way. In my opinion, they created a strategy that would solve part of the critical mass problem, but completely missed the mark when it came to the social aspect.

Comment: Re:More like elevation (Score 1) 172

by David_Hart (#49539413) Attached to: I spend most of my time ...

Elevation implies you are standing on the ground, altitude imples you are not touching the ground (ie flying.....) so I assume most people's average altitude is pretty close to 0 unless you're a pilot or astronaut.

"the height of an object or point in relation to sea level or ground level"

So, altitude can refer to either sea or ground level.

Comment: Re:!switching back (Score 5, Insightful) 621

by David_Hart (#49528573) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

TFA is beyond dumb. It's not people switching back, it's people buying a second car for their household. Many people have one EV and one ICE car.

EV sales are rising fast. Few people switch back after getting one and realizing how great they are, mostly because they did their homework and made sure it suited them before spending tens of thousands of dollars.

Um, No.... From the article "about 22 percent of people who have traded in their hybrids and EVs in 2015 bought a new SUV". These are direct trade-ins, not the purchase of a second car.

Life changes. People who are single or a couple who have smaller cars, no matter what type, will buy a bigger car when they have kids, get married, etc. I'm willing to bet that this explains a good percentage of this.

Other explanations might include buying SUVs to tow new recreational toys such as a boats, snow mobiles, etc. There aren't many hybrids on the market that are set up for towing.

Comment: Re:lol, Rand sucking up to the dorks (Score 2, Insightful) 206

If he wouldn't have received 35 years, then why the hell were they threatening it? This stuff affects people, guilty or innocent. They should be required to determine a reasonable set of charges and stick with it - they're the experts, and having them act as henchmen is demeaning to the process of justice.

Unfortunately, that's not how the current system works. The current system is designed to avoid expensive, nasty trials where someone might actually have to work to put someone behind bars. The current system has the D.A. pile on as many charges as she can remotely sound plausible to scare the defendant into plea bargaining regardless of their guilt or innocence.

Someone I know recently had this happen. 95 different charges were made with effectively "You'll never see the light of day again" thrown at him. His fist (incompetent) lawyer said "you better take the deal for 5 years." His second (competent) lawyer got a plea down to a misdemeanor, time served, and parole.

It's probably good to remember we don't have a justice system, but a legal system. Justice has next to nothing to do with it except by unexpected coincidence.

We do have a justice system, but only if you can afford it. If you can't, then you get caught up in the legal system....

Comment: Re:A Sympton of the Problem (Score 4, Insightful) 307

by David_Hart (#49524619) Attached to: Futures Trader Arrested For Causing 2010 'Flash Crash'

That's stupid. You only need to delay settlement by seconds, force the buyer to hold for 6 minutes, and the HFT system is broken.

Or you could levy a truly minimal transaction tax, even processing fee for orders executed in than 250ms from offer to buy to re-offer... Maybe.

But thinking you should force holding stock for days means you need to suspend trading when any news breaks. Which halts the market.

Just slow HFT by milliseconds.

Oh, and audit brokers. If they persist in offering stock they actually don't have, perhaps that's a problem? This whole episode sounds like NASDAQ, except they seem to have the stock.

The argument by HFT traders is that reduces the liquidity and efficiency of the stock market.

They are right in the effect. However, you never see anyone take it to the next step. Do we NEED to market to be THAT liquid?

I, personally, think that the market is currently too liquid if flash crashes can that easily take place on fake orders. It means that the HFT programs are reacting even before the trades have been completed. I agree that they need to be slowed down.

Comment: Re:A sane supreme court decision? (Score 1) 401

You see, it is often the case here that roads are built for speeds much higher than the actual posted limit. Parameters like lane width, grade, shoulder presence & width, presence/absence of median, etc. all contribute to an intuitive psychological understanding of what an appropriate (and safe) speed is.


I wouldn't say that the roads were built for higher speeds. I would argue, though, that most speed limits are set with the lowest common denominator in mind, such as transport trucks. I would also argue that some speeds are set for political reasons (i.e. 55 MPH on an interstate to increase fuel efficiency) that have little to do with highway design. For example, Maine used to have a 65MPH speed limit on I-95 and I-295, now it's 75MPH. Did the highway design change? No. The political environment did.

That being said, there is no reason for anyone to be driving drastically faster than the prevailing traffic, short of an emergency.

Comment: Re:Habeus Corpus (Score 1) 335

by David_Hart (#49519995) Attached to: Update: No Personhood for Chimps Yet

The Judge did nothing of the sort, the chimps were the ones named in the case by the animal rights activists, the Judge had to direct any motion at the chimps for the owners of the chimps to respond - and thats what he did here. He asked the owners to respond, via the Habeus Corpus motion - he had no other recourse.

The activists are claiming something that didn't happen.

Exactly. My understanding is that all the Judge did was allow a hearing to get more information from both sides. It confers no legal standing.

Comment: Is it the Apps? (Score 2) 138

The real question, of course, is whether the apps are the problem or the device itself?

After all, Apple no longer has perfectionist management at the top. It seems to me that they are more likely to release a product before it's fully baked. When the iPad was release, Apple had gone through hundreds of prototypes. I wonder if they put the same amount of design effort into the Apple Watch.

Comment: Re:You aren't the audience (Score 1) 76

by David_Hart (#49495195) Attached to: StarTalk TV Show With Neil DeGrasse Tyson Starts Monday

I have a big interest in physics and cosmology, etc, and generally fall asleep listening to some lecture or talk of some sort, be it Feynman or Susskind or what have you.


Quit mixing pop culture and science, it dumbs it down and makes people I respected once look like

These kinds of shows aren't for people who fall asleep every night listening to lectures. These kinds of shows are for the people who think Taylor Swift is the greatest singer/songwriter of all time, or can name everyone in the newest season of Dancing with the Stars but can't name the top people in government. The idea is to get people who aren't normally interested in science to at least think about it, to develop a rudimentary understanding of how science works (scientific theory, how scientists think, etc) and why the world around them is the way it is. Even a simplistic understadning is better than no understanding at all.

Exactly. This is for those people who can name the members of the band One Direction and who are upset over one of the band members leaving (I only know this much because it preempted real news for a solid week). My thought is that it will end up falling into the same category as CSI: Cyber. Something for the general audience and not for the technically minded.

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 1) 325

by David_Hart (#49487647) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

The iPads weren't standalone education devices â" they were supposed to work in conjunction with another device carrying curriculum from a company named Pearson. But the district now says the combined tech didn't meet their needs, and they want their money back.

So... They didn't test the iPad / content combo to establish usability / feasibility / usefulness prior to dropping all this cash?

Anyone with half a brain could see that this whole thing had FIASCO written all over it in bright red letters. The whole thing reeks of one giant scam.

-- The school district signed an initial $30 million deal with Apple in a program that was supposed to eventually cost up to $1.3 billion. As part of the program, the LA School District would buy iPads from Apple at $768 each

You can go into any store an buy the most expensive iPad for $699. The school system is spending a billion dollars and didn't negotiate a discount on the price? They're actually paying $79 over retail !!?? What the fucking fuck.

-- and then Pearson, a subcontractor with Apple, would provide math and science curriculum for the tablets at an additional $200 per unit.

$200 per unit for some shitty software? You've now jacked up the price to nearly a thousand dollars per iPad. Again, they're spending a billion dollars and don't negotiate a discount?

-- Less than 2 months after the program started, the school district reported that one-third of the 2,100 iPads distributed during the initial rollout of the program, had gone missing.

Seriously? You didn't see this coming from a mile away?

-- And best of all, the schools district's Assistant Superintendent, essentially the number 2 person in charge of the entire school system, is a former executive with Pearson, the company providing the software, and he was heavily involved in helping Pearson land the contract..

Yeah... the least that they could have done is subscribed each iPad to the "Find My iPad" app.... obviously, not being able to find the missing iPads was the last straw... (grin)

Comment: Re:a mailman from Ruskin, Florida (Score 1) 327

by David_Hart (#49481983) Attached to: Gyro-Copter Lands On West Lawn of US Capitol, Pilot Arrested

> "An anonymous reader writes that Doug Hughes, 61, a mailman from Ruskin, Florida"...

I'm tired, and managed to somehow read that as "a mailman from Russia". I was pretty impressed with the guy's dedication, flying a gyro-copter all the way to DC!

Well... He'd have to, wouldn't he. After all, with global warming the ice bridge to Alaska is gone.... (grin)

Comment: Not a problem with scope creep... (Score 1) 131

by David_Hart (#49476285) Attached to: How Mission Creep Killed a Gaming Studio

The company didn't fold due to scope creep, the company folded because the people in charge were not willing to say "No".

You can argue that it's one and the same.

The difference, at least in my mind, is that scope creep simply causes never ending projects. Requirements are allowed to expand because there is no good reason and, thus, no political will to deny the request.

On the other hand, accepting new requirements when you don't have the budget for it, and where you are betting the farm, is a completely different animal. It sounds like management wasn't mature enough to say No at the point when Microsoft wouldn't change the Budget. They even had the loopy idea that if they completed a chunk of the game that Microsoft might relent. Pure wishful thinking....

It's up to the company to manage both its own budget and its image. Falling down on not being involved in the marketing effort and not having a marketing veto again shows just how poor management was. The Execs didn't know what they were getting into and didn't know how to manage the contract.

Comment: Tea... (Score 1) 108

Meanwhile, the tea drinkers have been sitting back all of these years laughing at the coffee complaints... Plus, the tea guys get to drink theirs with chopsticks...

I'm willing to bet that the coffee guys finally got fed up which is why the espresso machine... (grin)

When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.