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Comment Re:Excellent! (Score 1) 61

This. . Except that the bank account is typically a prepaid credit card which is almost untraceable. In order to efile tax returns for others the IRS requires a pin they assign to the preparers. If they suspect a pin number, its a hassle for one preparer but they can hold the returns filled until verified and issue a replacement pin. This will be extremely complex in the middle of the tax season with thousands.

Comment Re:Instance or class? (Score 1) 183

Someone runs a light, hits a self-driving car. Because they tend to be small, they will spin around due to momentum in an intersection. It does so, and hits another car. When I witnessed a small car about the size of a Honda Fit or Mini get rammed due to a red light runner, then spin into another vehicle, the small car, even though it was not at fault with wreck #1 got sued by the driver of the car it hit.

Anyone can sue anyone for anything. That wont change.

Usually in multi-car accident, only the instigator (or his insurance) will end up paying.

Why would you think self-driving cars tend to be small? The Tesla's pretty heavy as modern cars go. Self-driving will probably come first to luxury cars, and those all tend to be heavy.

Comment Re:Self-Selection? (Score 4, Insightful) 144

possible that those developers who don't feel it necessary to point out their favorite college sports team in situations where their favorite college sports team doesn't matter tend to also be those more likely to contribute worthwhile changes?

The double-negative makes it hard to parse, but I think I agree: "people who point out unimportant distractions about themselves have lower-quality submissions". Seems perfectly reasonable to me.
 

Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 492

I don't find three pedals confusing either, and if I had a lift or even a slab I would probably drop the money to put a six speed into my Audi in lieu of the five speed slushbox when I liquidate my 300SD. I'm not doing that job in the dirt. The point remains, though; there was no good reason for them not to use pushbuttons.

Also, I'd still rather have a DCT than any of this stuff, and they don't work without computer control either

Comment Re:User error (Score 1) 493

Yes, and they aren't great. Friend of mine is an engineer at a car company - these are experiments to see if the reliability problems can be solved (and the Civic had a CVT ages ago, BTW, a friend drove one). At low enough power they work OK, but a belt is just no substitute for gears for durability and ability to scale up power-wise. Mercedes would love to offer a CVT for the S Class - even smoother power delivery - but it just can't be made to work, at least not yet.

Comment Re: What scientists do (Score 1) 512

Yes. Not just me, actual climate scientists have put forward the idea that the fact that all the models have been running hot for the past 19 year is due to solar variance (claiming it will soon return to normal and validate their models, of course, but they don't model the Sun).

We are as certain as we are of anything climate-wise that solar variation drives the 100k year glaciation cycle of the current ice age. And these changes happen fast, relative to the 100k year cycle. The relative stability of the climate for the past 10k years is an unexplained anomaly in the temperature record (check out the ice core data, if you like looking at real data).

The point is, no one knows why the glaciers have retreated for so long. Where I sit has been under kilometers of ice for most of the past 2.5 million years, with fairly brief ground exposure every 100k years. But the past 10k years were unique in the ice core data - temperatures didn't drop after spiking.

Are we overdue for a massive, rapid drop back to normal? Are we leaving the ice age? In either direction, solar activity is a bigger driver than the CO2 levels we're talking about, and changes seem to happen quite fast: just a few centuries. (It doesn't take much: a 6% drop in solar activity is hypothesized to have caused the "snowball Earth", where the entire Earth, excepting a few geothermal spots, was under ice - the biggest extinction event since the oxygen catastrophe).

Comment Re:And? (Score 4, Insightful) 213

If you're in the US, losing the entire Russian government market is a blow to the balance of trade and local economy. This single contract is just representative of everything that's happening across the industry - it's far larger.

But Americans seem to WANT NSL's and are willing to sacrifice the entire tech sector, the basis of their economic growth, for an increased police state. Maybe they'll get to pick the size of their grey tunics.

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