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Comment: Details matter (Score 4, Interesting) 169

by overshoot (#48644069) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

The original red-light camera trial was in Scottsdale Arizona. The city farmed out the study to a university research group, and the cameras were installed at a random selection of the worst red-light-accident [1] intersections. The trial was publicized and ran for several years. The timing of the lights was not changed.

The conclusion of the trial was that the cameras reduced both accidents and injuries. Scottsdale then ran the cameras for years with general public approval, in part because the city has some pretty rational traffic ordinances (like raising the speed limit if most people are going faster anyway) and an open set of books on the program.

The cities that treat red-light violations as a revenue source and especially those that cut yellow times to increase red violations have only themselves to blame for poisoning public opinion. If anything, cameras should be paired with longer yellow times.

Scottsdale is strange that way. They also did studies that showed that traffic flows better and reduces accidents by having left turn after green rather than before. Those results have been mostly ignored by other cities.

PS: I've seen some of the footage from the cameras, by the way -- one truly amazing one of a guy who totally spaced and drove right through an intersection well after cross-traffic was flowing but amazingly managed to miss all of it. Hard to believe.

[1] Skip the joke. It's ancient.

Comment: Re:About fucking time (Score 1) 233

by overshoot (#48505071) Attached to: Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

The brain repairs itself by routing around damage. Although this can restore pre-injury function, it does so by using up "spare" capacity that would otherwise reduce losses due to aging or other insults.

Repeated brain injuries (like multiple subacute impacts per game) go through that reserve capacity quickly. That's what we see in middle-aged professional athletes such as boxers and more recently football players.

As for my age, yup. Retired. But I'm a volunteer emergency medic and we have to stay current, including annual refreshers that cover the state of the art. That includes the findings regarding repetitive subacute brain injuries.

Comment: Re:About fucking time (Score 1) 233

by overshoot (#48497095) Attached to: Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

Unless it's a serious concussion, I think most still go unreported.

Aside from the "all concussions are serious" aspect, in a team sport someone being disoriented should be reported by the other team members, if only in the interest of not losing the game.

However, what we're discussing here in particular is the common case where a player is clearly concussed (as in, disoriented or briefly unresponsive) and instead of being sent to hospital is kept on the bench and frequently sent back into the game after a short rest. At best, they're out for the game but back in practice the following school day and playing the following week.

Comment: Re:If I was running a school system ... (Score 1) 233

by overshoot (#48493759) Attached to: Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

Give them something better than football, and convince them that it really is better, and the world will change.

You mean like election engineering? That does seem to be right up there with football, and remarkably (given that it happens at the same time of year) the two don't seem to be exclusive.

As long as the school budget cuts don't impact the sports program, it's all good. Keeps the kids from getting funny ideas.

Comment: Re:Value your prefrontal cortex? (Score 2) 233

by overshoot (#48493725) Attached to: Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

And the schools don't dare inform parents of all the risks - parents would say "What, are you crazy? I'm going to risk my kids future so you can get a stupid trophy for your office? DIAF."

I wish you were right, but experience with the parents of brain-damaged young athletes indicates otherwise.

Comment: About fucking time (Score 5, Insightful) 233

by overshoot (#48493041) Attached to: Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

I'm an emergency medic and unfortuntately meet a lot of kids who have been concussed -- and when they come in saying, "I think I have a concussion, it feels like the ones I get playing football" it's all I can do to not lose my shit right there. The story is always the same: kid gets his bell rung, is either unconscious or maybe A&Ox2 on the field, and if he's more or less functional by the end of the game, he's back on the field.

Those brain cells are gone for good -- and we're talking about minors who are acting under the care of an adult in authority.

Comment: Re:Not that hard to defeat (Score 4, Interesting) 80

by PsiCTO (#48278917) Attached to: Breaching Air-Gap Security With Radio
Most places have a faraday cage in which the classified material and any electronic device accessing the material is houses. If a device leaves the cage, it is handled appropriately and never turned on. Problem solved. Such measures have been used well before Gene Hackman's cage in Enemy of the State :-) Of course, a human mistake is much more likely to reveal the information...

Comment: Wolves and coyotes in Yellowstone (Score 1) 282

by overshoot (#48230487) Attached to: High Speed Evolution

Nothing really new here.

Wolves, then seen as unreservedly undesirable, were eradicated from the Yellowstone region by the early 20th century. Between then and the end of the century, coyotes got larger and started hunting in packs, taking the ecological niche that wolves had filled and pursuing larger prey.

Then (1994) we reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone.

Even in the short time since, observed coyotes have gotten smaller and started acting less like apex predators and more like the sneak and scavengers that they are in other habitats where they're threatened by the apex predators.

That's a lot fewer generations than the reported adaptation of lizards in the islands.

Comment: Re:Why South Korea and Japan can do it and USA can (Score 1) 291

by overshoot (#48212227) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?
The population density of the USA is low in large part because huge portions have no people at all. Yes, the internet access there sucks, but the bears and elk don't really seem to care. On the other hand, some parts of the USA do have very low population density but still have fat pipes.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 291

by overshoot (#48211681) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

Around 25 to 35Mbps depending on the encryption method and how much load that crypt takes.

You say that like it's slow. It's an order of magnitude greater than most Americans can afford. Fiber vs. copper isn't the bottleneck, and neither is encryption bandwidth. The rates providers charge is, and when they switch to fiber the rates per Mbps increase, not decrease.

Of course, the rates per megabit increase regardless.

Hold on to the root.