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Comment: Re:And many, many more (Score 1) 549

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48036847) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

use random units depending on what we are used to.

But that's exactly the point: we are used to ordering a 1/4lb burger or an 8oz steak, so everyone knows what they're getting, so there is no problem. Rather like programming, using the same style as everyone else for what you're looking at right now is more practically useful than trying to enforce universal consistency for all plausibly related things everywhere.

Comment: Re:And many, many more (Score 1) 549

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48036811) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Isn't it impractical to have different set of units for day-to-day life and for everything scientific, technical, or international?

On the evidence so far: No, not really. That's basically my point.

The important thing with units is standardisation so everyone understands the same quantity to have the same meaning. It turns out that engineers are quite capable of using high-precision SI-denominated measurements at work and still going for a pint with their colleagues at the end of the day.

Comment: Re:FP? (Score 1) 549

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48036737) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Apparently looking down at a different set of numbers on a guage in front of the driver (or pressing a button to convert a digital readout) is far too much work and effort.

It's not about work and effort. There have been fatal air accidents as a result of two readings with plausibly similar numbers but very different meanings being shown interchangeably in the same place on aircraft flight controls. If highly trained professional pilots can make that mistake under pressure, then for sure an average driver can.

Moreover, given that there is always pressure to increase speed limits here to 80mph, while on some major roads there is currently a 50mph (approximately 80kph) limit today, there is at least one obvious case where this could go horribly wrong in practice.

Comment: Re:And many, many more (Score 2) 549

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48035663) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Do you really think changing to metric means we'll stop using d/m/y dates?

Of course not. I'm just demonstrating the hypocrisy of the argument. A lot of people in this discussion aren't really arguing that we should all use SI/metric units across the board, they're just saying they want everyone else to use them when they do.

And for liquids, I've been buying 2L bottles for decades now, and you don't order "0.28L," you order (in Germany/Åustria) "kleine" (0.3L) or "grosse" (0.5L).

So do we, when we buy soft drinks. But in my country, we order beer as a half-pint or a pint, and everyone knows what they're getting. Are you suggesting not only that we should change our units to fit your preference but also that every drinking establishment in the country should buy a complete new set of glassware that will hold different volumes that are more convenient in the new units as well and presumably that everyone's prices should slightly change to match?

Comment: And many, many more (Score 2, Interesting) 549

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48035161) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

So, we've got:

1. Speeds (mph) and fuel (mpg in an X gallon tank)

2. Lumber (2x4)

Let's add a few more:

3. Milk (pints)

4. Beer (pints)

5. Ingredients in menus (pounds and ounces)

6. Human weight (stone, pounds and ounces)

7. Human height (feet and inches)

8. Vehicle heights for bridge clearances etc. (feet and inches)

9. Time (hours, minutes and seconds)

10. Date (days, months, years)

And that was just stream of consciousness, without a pause to think of other examples.

Seriously, standards are great. They help us to communicate unambiguously. And we have standards in the UK, and they are what I just listed. No-one here goes to the supermarket to buy 227g of cheese and 1.14L of milk. No-one goes to a car showroom and asks whether the fuel economy around town is better than 7.84L/100km, and most people's instinct would be that a higher number was better even if they had that reference point. A few people might describe their height in metres, but most people would say something like "five foot nine".

For projects where international collaboration is required, sure, agree a standard up-front, and it might as well be SI. Likewise for scientific and engineering applications, everyone is a professional and can agree to use SI. But for day to day life? You'd better hope someone going to a supermarket or a pub knows the same units as everyone else, because asking for 0.28L of beer at a crowded bar isn't going to make you any friends.

Comment: Re:Interesting. But might end up as more of a toy. (Score 1) 48

As said this could be an interesting device. But I'm not really sure what this will allow anyone to do.

The point isn't what you can do with it, the point is that it's fun to build it and to experiment with all of the sensors. Perhaps that experimentation will spark some ideas for building things that actually are useful, but even that's a second-order concern.


What happened to the slashdot of old?

Comment: Re:lol capitalism. (Score 1) 72

by swillden (#48033539) Attached to: eBay To Spin Off PayPal
Apple Pay isn't new. It's just another spin on what Google and ISIS (now SoftCard) did before it. The reason PayPal didn't change the world was because the financial industry is owned by the banks, and they don't allow it to be changed except in the ways they want. Many have attempted to bypass them, or undermine them, and none have succeeded. PayPal didn't do it in the past and isn't going to in the future. Neither is Apple.

Comment: Re:Not sure how well it will work (Score 1) 101

ChromeCast isn't exactly setting the world on fire.

It's the #1 best-selling electronics device on Amazon, and I believe it has held that spot continuously ever since it was released. It's also one of Best Buy's top sellers. Every non-geek I know who has one loves it. I don't know if that equates to "setting the world on fire", but it's been pretty darned successful.

It's been a business doing pleasure with you.