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Comment: Re:No, it isn't (Score 1) 961 961

Doesn't the same rule apply (only more so) for FWD? If your rear wheels start to slip and you step on the gas, you transition weight off the front wheels, while simultaneously increasing the torque on them, making it more likely they'll spin? Honest question, I've never really pushed a FWD car on a track before, partly because their handling is just counter-intuitive to me.

Comment: Re:I wasn't born yesterday (Score 1) 961 961

Some of us *still* drive them. Although I did break down and install a different head unit that I could connect my iPod to.

A lot of those technologies are just now (or recently) coming into their prime, though. I remember the early ABS systems felt like you were being dragged down a flight of stairs, and didn't seem to make a big difference in the snow. And at least one of the early traction control units made it almost impossible to start on snow-covered ice. (I've actually heard the same thing about the first-gen Prius, but not from a reliable source.) The current high-end systems are amazing, I just need to wait another five or six years until I can afford a 2013 5-series BMW or maybe an S4.

Comment: Re:Tale of two cars (Score 1) 961 961

Sounds like the Z could have used an alignment and possibly some tire balancing. Not saying it's better than a Caravelle (I've never driven one of those) but I have driven a 240Z to the far side of 100 and didn't feel it was inherently unstable. Loud, yes, but not unstable.

Comment: Re:No, it isn't (Score 1) 961 961

The only reason most "other" cars don't exhibit this behavior as strongly is that they aren't setup (from the factory) with such a neutral balance - they're setup to understeer so strongly that the balance window you play in goes from "more understeer" to "less understeer" - not "understeer" to "oversteer".

LOL, the reason most other cars don't exhibit this behavior is because they don't have the engine *behind* the rear axle. Porsche has committed unnatural acts of engineering to make the 911 one of the best-handling cars of all time, but it's still a car that punishes drivers who don't understand vehicle dynamics.

Comment: Re:You couldn't learn all that in high school (Score 1) 632 632

The richer kids got themselves "electronic calculators" but the rest of us were using slide rules.

I lost count on how many time I burned my fingers while assembling the chips on breadboards on the many DIY "PC" kits I purchased (mail-order style) from ads that I got from "Popular Mechanics".

Uh, what? Your family couldn't afford a $50 calculator but you had "many" "DIY PC kits"? Like the $995 SOL-20, or a $400 "cheapie" like an MITS Altair or IMSAI 8080? Sorry, not buying the bullshit.

When I was in HS in the late '70s we had a teletype with an acoustic coupler modem that connected to a district computer center running an HP2000. I still have a printout of the BASIC code for the football and drag race programs we played with, but by the time I was a junior we had a TRS-80 model I at home so I pretty much gave up on the school's system. Taught myself BASIC, then saved my allowance to buy a Z-80 assembler (on cassette tape!) and learned that. Then I went to college and my first class was on punched cards. Kind of a letdown...

Comment: Re:Way better off (Score 2) 524 524

Depends entirely on how long he owned the home. I bought a house in Portland (OR) and sold it two years later for a 5% profit. That was in 2003, before the bubble burst. I bought my current house from a couple who had bought it in 1974. They made over 400% profit on it (believe me, they certainly didn't spend any money updating anything...). It's pretty much only people who bought and sold in the last decade who took a beating. Friends of mine that bought places in the mid-90s are sitting pretty. I expect I'll sell my house for a loss when I sell it twenty years from now, but in the meantime it's cheaper than renting and I have a nice back yard.

Comment: Re:Is this news? (Score 1) 321 321

What chance in hell is one or two radar guided 20mm Gatling guns going to have against something at least twice as fast, several feet off the water, and performing high-G evasive maneuvers? Oh yea, and there's a dozen more 10 seconds behind the first one.

Maybe we'll resurrect the old Nike missle tech -- fire a supersonic missile into a flock of targets and detonate it. Doesn't take much damage at Mach 2+ to make something so unstable it'll tear itself apart.

Good point, though -- that's why the XB-70 was never developed: it's much cheaper to make missiles than bombers.

Comment: Re:From Utilitarian to Amusing to Delicious (Score 1) 96 96

take a few or so cups of the apple-juice and blend it with the sugar, bring it to a simmer, add the yeast, stir it vigorously, and pour it back into the original glass bottle

Wait, you're adding yeast to hot cider? When brewing beer, you have to get your wort temperature down below 80 before you add your yeast. Sounds like it's working for you, though, maybe champagne yeast is tougher stuff than regular brewer's yeast.

Comment: Re:multiple control points (Score 2) 96 96

LOL. "Carefully boiled"? What's that, in an ASTM-certified 18/10 stainless steel reaction vessel with distilled water when the ambient air pressure is no more than 30.05 using a thermal introduction profile not to exceed 10deg/sec? I just dump two cups of tap water in a small saucepan, heat it to boiling, dump in my priming sugar, and stir until dissolved (takes about twenty seconds). Then I dump it into my (freshly-sanitized) bottling bucket, rack my beer onto it, give it a quick stir with a sanitized stainless spoon, then bottle. It's really pretty difficult to screw this stuff up.

Sure, you can agonize over how many volumes of CO2 the BJCP claims are "proper" for your beer's style, and what kind of fermentables will either compliment or at least not intrude on your beer's flavor, but that's optional. It's all beer in the end. Relax!

Comment: Re:What, exactly, could they do in silicon? (Score 1) 240 240

Exactly. It would be difficult to design an ISA with a back door, surely that would have to be an implementation-specific effort. Of course, if they government also required projects to use chips from "approved" suppliers then they could make this happen, but it probably wouldn't be an architecture-level artifact.

A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.

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