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Comment: Work the way down to no license (Score 5, Insightful) 301

It would make the most sense to require fewer qualifications as the technology becomes more proven; it could start requiring a driver's license with an endorsement and, as the cars become more capable and the kinks are worked out, go down to no license. But gradual deregulation tends to run counter to a bureaucracy's instincts and when the political process steps in it tends to do so suddenly, so I don't know if the idea would work in practice.

Comment: Re:And any idiot with a soldering iron can bypass (Score 1) 765

by Grant_Watson (#46981233) Attached to: A Look at Smart Gun Technology

Until I see someone cite an actual statistic of how many people are disarmed and shot with their own weapons, I'm going to continue to see these sorts of claims as hyperbole, and rightfully so.

I agree that this is a silly concern for the average citizen; for policemen it's a real concern -- in that they often have to grapple with resisting people while their sidearms are in plain sight -- and it's telling that police departments are totally uninterested in smart guns.

Comment: Re:Marriage is about property and other rights. (Score 1) 564

by Grant_Watson (#46670149) Attached to: Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

In the old days, people would get married by the state (coiurt house or whatever) and then have another marriage in the church.

It was condensed later on.

This has never been the tradition in the English-speaking world. Some European countries have moved to this model since the nineteenth century.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 4, Insightful) 564

by Grant_Watson (#46670097) Attached to: Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

His donation to Proposition 8 has been known literally for years. He was CTO before his promotion to CEO; he had a seat on the board of the Mozilla Foundation, as is natural for its co-founder. None of his gay subordinates or coworkers seems to have levied any accusations of unfairness against him in all that time. One of the Mozilla bigwigs commented that she was surprised to learn of the donation when it came out, because Eich's friendliness and evenhandedness toward gay employees defied her stereotype of a Proposition 8 supporter.

Eich had no trouble getting along with those who didn't share his views, but it seems that not everyone reciprocated.

Comment: Re:Liberal arts professors' worst nightmare (Score 1) 134

by Grant_Watson (#46422335) Attached to: College Board To Rethink the SAT, Partner With Khan Academy

A paragraph that uses the 3 part structure that is overemphasized in elementary school, i.e.: opening statement, middle sentences, summary. It results a fractured flow between paragraphs, with unnecessary summary, and an overemphasis on length instead of brevity.

As for your score, the average SAT score was 1498 in 2013, take from that what you want.

Well yeah, that's because they added an essay portion that's scored separately. You'd expect the average score for the two-part test to be about 1,000 and the average score for the three-part test to be about 1,500.

Comment: Re:That's not a student loan, it's Pay It Forward (Score 1) 304

by Grant_Watson (#46338247) Attached to: Oklahoma Schools Required To Teach Students Personal Finance

If there is no risk to the bank whatsoever, then why do they deserve any profit through interest payments?

They are offering the use of their money, which they could otherwise invest in some profitable enterprise; that is worth some interest. Without risk, one would expect it to be low interest -- like treasury bonds -- but certainly nonzero.

Comment: Re:Firefux (Score 4, Informative) 144

Your tone is flamebait, but your question is valid. Firefox has a project called MemShrink whose focus has been on reducing memory usage. In the time they've been going they have found and fixed leaks in Firefox; come up with better ways to find leaks in add-ons, which were the biggest culprit; changed how Firefox handles memory used by add-ons to eliminate virtually all such leaks; and optimized Firefox's memory management in a bunch of non-buggy cases.

So yes, if memory usage is what drove you away from Firefox you should take another look.

Comment: Re:I don't get it. (Score 2) 336

by Grant_Watson (#44492435) Attached to: Version 2.0 of 3D-Printed Rifle Successfully Fires 14 Rounds

I don't know about Britain (where carrying pistols was hardly unheard of in the nineteenth century), but I don't know that I've ever heard this as an argument for gun control in the U.S. It seems an odd argument: It would definitely work to make carrying a weapon more difficult for the law-abiding, but the only way to make it less desirable would be if it indeed made it nearly impossible for criminals to get access to weapons.

And British gun control has led to knife crime and to forms of knife control that look downright silly from this side of the pond.

Comment: Re:Prior use (Score 1) 354

by Grant_Watson (#42285269) Attached to: ITU To Choose Emergency Line For Mobiles: 911, or 112?

It's hard to tell from context whether you're not from the US or you're an American who has never used seven-digit dialing.

In the US, the first three digits of a ten-digit telephone number are the area code. Traditionally if you were calling someone who was in the same area code you were in you would not dial the area code but only the last seven digits of the telephone number. If you needed to call someone outside your area code, pressing 1 first allowed the telephone network to know that you were dialing a ten-digit number.

It used to be that when an area code ran out of telephone numbers, it would be split into multiple area codes. This meant that some numbers would change in the first three digits, which is inconvenient. The modern practice is to add a new area code that applies to the same geographical area as the old one, but that means that someone living next door to you may have a different area code than you do; the solution is to make everyone dial the full ten digits regardless of area code.

I think landline practice (7- or 10-digit dialing) still varies by region, but all modern cell phones use ten-digit dialing.

"Neighbors!! We got neighbors! We ain't supposed to have any neighbors, and I just had to shoot one." -- Post Bros. Comics

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