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Comment Re:Insanity (Score 1) 411

Part of the trouble is that the kind of on-road cycle lanes we're talking about in the UK aren't normal lanes in various respects, including sometimes legal ones. Even to the extent that they are, they are often created by literally nothing but painting a line down existing roads to mark off an area much smaller than the relevant policies call for. No extra space is created, nor any real physical separation or protection added.

This results in exactly the kind of them-and-us culture I was talking about, where a lot of drivers who don't cycle themselves see a cycle lane and think bikes should stay in it at all times, while anyone who has ever cycled significantly could tell you that this is completely unrealistic because the lanes aren't wide enough for anyone to do so and still make sensible progress even before you consider all the extra hazards that tend to happen towards the side of a road where the cycle lane is.

Consequently a lot of faster and more competent cycles will disregard the lanes and cycle in the main traffic flow when conditions dictate, and a lot of ignorant and selfish drivers will then illegally harass and intimidate the cyclists for riding in the main traffic lane and slowing them down marginally. Many drivers also pass cyclists who are in a cycle lane far too close, and one of the well established benefits of removing road markings for explicit lanes is that drivers do then move out significantly more and pass cyclists at a safer distance.

For me, the only truly credible solutions to today's them-and-us culture involve providing a decent standard of facilities for both groups where conflict is designed out in the first place. Much better designs than what we currently use in the UK are known -- the Dutch typically do these things well, for example -- but they cost significant amounts of money, particularly to implement them retroactively on existing road layouts, and so far the political will in the UK just doesn't seem to be there to spend it. In some places, particularly older cities with historical areas and narrow streets, there simply isn't a good solution as long as so many different types of vehicle are trying to share the same road space.

Comment Re:Insanity (Score 1) 411

It's an unfortunate reality of a lot of existing/historical road planning policy that it creates a them-and-us culture one way or another. Cars and cycles. Cars and buses. Buses and cycles. Lorries and everyone. White vans and other white vans.

What a lot of people seem to be missing in this discussion is that over-regulation and excessive road markings and street furniture create a false sense of security and so lead to over-confidence. There's a white line dividing the cycle lane from the main traffic, so of course it's safe for me to fly past at 30mph in my car today when there are 40mph winds gusting as long as I stay my side of the line. Yeah, yeah, I know the cyclist has less than a metre of road width for their lane because the markings don't follow the spec, and I know I'm only leaving half a metre of clearance, and I know that one gust of wind or small fallen branch in their lane could mean they swerve suddenly into mine, but that silly stuff doesn't matter, does it? (Incidentally, this goes both ways, too: a cyclist who races up the cycle lane to the advanced stop line at a junction past dense stationary traffic in today's conditions is just as bad.)

On the evidence so far, the reason that cutting down on the markings and regulations is effective at increasing safety and reducing traffic flows under some conditions is that it forces drivers to pay attention and co-operate instead of assuming. If that means drivers slow right down in places where they didn't before, they probably should have been going slower all along, but weren't because they were trusting the road markings or still under the speed limit or some other rationalization. If it means they can't drive properly and be on the phone at the same time, well, they never could, it's just that now it's blindingly obvious even to them.

We should review the results of these kinds of experiments over the long term of course, just in case the effects turn out to be temporary or they have other unintended consequences. But for now, there is ample credible evidence that this alternative approach may be much better for everyone under some circumstances and it's clearly worth further investigation. The fact that so many people here seem to dismiss it out of hand based on nothing but naive intuition is an excellent demonstration of why these sorts of public policies should be evidence-based.

Comment It needs lots of enemies (Score 4, Informative) 83

The original Doom games were noteworthy for having big levels that contained lots and lots of enemies. I haven't played Doom 3, but I've heard that it has much more beautiful 3D graphics, and as a result you would be attacked by only a few monsters at a time (because too many would overwhelm the graphics adapters that were current when that game came out).

My favorite thing in the the original Doom games was getting the monsters to fight each other. If you could get an Imp so hit a Cacodemon with a fireball, for example, the two would get into a fight. Frequently I would lure some monster into the line of fire and as soon as it was hit, it would forget about me and go kill whatever monster hit it. This is more fun to me than just shooting everything. I hope the new game has this.

The specific rules: monster special attacks don't hurt other monsters of the exact same type... for example, Imp fireballs don't hurt Imps. But the zombie soldiers shoot bullets and bullets hurt anything, so you could get soldiers to fight each other. And anytime a monster hit a different kind of monster it would do damage.

P.S. Doom modified as a way to control processses on a system. Kill a process with a shotgun!

One side-effect of this is that processes on a system can get into a fight with each other. Two processes enter, one leaves. Not recommended for critical systems.

Comment Two opposed postions on abortion, both libertarian (Score 2) 459

If you say something about my freedom stopping at his nose, then I remind you that the baby's right to live stops at the aborter's saline injection, scraping blade, etc.

libertarians might agree that abortion should be illegal, and might not. I'll explain why:

The core of libertarian philosophy: force and fraud are not acceptable, but as long as people are free to choose, the state shouldn't intervene.

Thus a libertarian would not be in favor of the state forbidding drugs like alcohol or tobacco or marijuana. If a person chooses to use such drugs it is his/her choice.

But a libertarian would agree that murder should be illegal.

So it comes down to: is an abortion murder?

libertarians who believe that life begins at conception, and even a one-week-old embryo counts as a person, would believe that abortion is murder, and thus should be illegal.

libertarians who believe that an embryo isn't a person yet would believe that abortion should be the choice of the mother.

The question of whether an embryo is a person is not one that is decided by libertarian philosophy, and thus two people who are libertarians might have opposite opinions.

All libertarians would agree that the state should not be using tax money to fund abortions. Some libertarians think the state should be very small, and others (the "anarcho-capitalists") want no state at all; none would consider funding abortions to be a legitimate function for the state.

P.S. I read an essay by Carl Sagan where he suggested that before brain activity starts up, a fetus is not a person, but after the brain is functioning it should be considered an unborn person. IIRC he said that is about the third trimester. (Note, I did a Google search and found one web page saying brain activity starts around 25 weeks, which would be early third trimester.)

Comment Re:the point (Score 5, Informative) 130

The point of Docker is to have a single package ("container") that contains all of its dependencies, running in isolation from any other Docker containers. Since the container is self-contained, it can be run on any Docker host. For example, if you have some wacky old program that only runs on one particular set of library versions, it might be hard for you to get the Docker container just right to make it run; but once you do, that container will Just Work everywhere, and updating packages on the host won't break it.

The point of the news story is that someone did a better job of stripping the container down, removing libraries and such that were not true dependencies (weren't truly needed).

Not only does this make for smaller containers, but it should reduce the attack surface, by removing resources that are available inside the container. For example, if someone finds a security flaw in library libfoo, this would protect against that security flaw by removing libfoo when it is not needed. It's pretty hard for an exploit to call code in a library if the library isn't present. Also, presumably all development tools and even things like command-line shells would be stripped out. Thus a successful attacker might gain control over a docker container instance, but would have no way to escalate privileges any further.

If the stated numbers are correct (a 644 MB container went down to 29 MB) yet the new small package still works, then clearly there is a lot of unnecessary stuff in that standard 644 MB container.

Comment Re:Of course ... (Score 1) 315

Windows 10 has been very stable for me.

That's great, but as a few moments searching the web could tell you, not everyone has been so fortunate. There have already been several widespread instances of hardware/driver issues, reboot loops, software being uninstalled due to being deemed no longer compatible, and similar problems reported by Windows 10 users.

Comment Re:Of course ... (Score 1) 315

Shame on Microsoft for making people get off an OS that isn't receiving updates and for pushing for people to get off an OS that will stop receiving them in a handful of years.

Windows 7 extended support runs until 14 January 2020.

That's almost four more years that Microsoft have committed to supporting the OS.

A significant number of computers that haven't even been bought yet could run Windows 7 for their entire working lifetimes and still be within the extended support period.

Also, merely "connecting to the Internet" is highly unlikely to leave a system vulnerable even if it isn't fully patched, and I'll take "outdated and unsupported" over "actively damaged at arbitrary intervals by compulsory updates you can't block".

Comment Re:July 29th 2016 can't come soon enough (Score 1) 581

What do you think happens after the 1 year anniversary of Windows 10 launch?

If adoption rates are still unimpressive, I imagine Nadella gives a mea culpa speech as he decides to spend more time with his family, and the new CEO starts making highly publicised changes in strategic direction as soon as possible to reassure the big corporate customers and to some extent home users that Microsoft is still looking out for them.

What that direction would be is interesting, as Microsoft is one of the few IT giants that probably still has the resources and credibility to shift the entire industry. Apple is another. Both seem to have lost their focus in recent years, but one or two big new ideas could change that.

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