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Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 817

by Mitreya (#49738849) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

New toll systems have few manned toll booths and don't require traffic to slow or stop.

That's assuming you subscribe to a privacy-violating account and carry around their little identifier (last I saw the rules, they have dire warnings against sharing or otherwise moving the device to another car) and also assuming that you have no out-of-state visitors who are not subscribed to some local toll system.

Comment: Re:"Am I free to stay?" (Score 1) 509

by Mitreya (#49637391) Attached to: What To Say When the Police Tell You To Stop Filming Them

You dont have to completely leave, but it gives you the ability to walk away from the officer without the claim of resisting.

Wow, is that the rule?
So then you have to record your question being asked and answered. Otherwise, it's your word against the police officer's word that "....but s/he said I was free to leave", when you are charged with resisting arrest.

Comment: Re:Two Party Consent (Score 1) 509

by Mitreya (#49637247) Attached to: What To Say When the Police Tell You To Stop Filming Them

I'm not sure if this flies in two party consent states. You wouldn't be allowed to record their voice or conversation

IANAL, but I am quite sure that "X party consent" only applies to private conversation (e.g., phone). Any event happening in public, you can pretty much record. Otherwise, in states with two party consent laws, you could never record videos outside within an earshot of people.

Comment: Re:THIS will drive the adoption of the auto-driver (Score 1) 228

by Mitreya (#49630967) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Simply: the old drivers are all quitting because of the hassles and continuing low pay, while few new drivers are joining the industry. Companies can't find drivers. I know 1Q14 3000+ trucking companies closed (most were Bill & Mary trucking, ie small individual owner-operators, but many were substantial firms)

There has to be more to this. If companies can't find drivers (particularly bigger firms), perhaps they should offer higher pay? I can't imagine their margins are so thin that they cannot increase trucker salaries without going into red.

So perhaps there is another explanation, because yours sounds like trucker salary is set in stone and can never be changed.

Comment: Re:Plot Hole (Score 2) 179

by Mitreya (#49613439) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

Tolkien was human. Humans make mistakes and oversights.

Indeed. He could also have kept Aragorn as a hobbit named Trotter instead of a human and now we would be debating a number of different inconsistencies.

Who's the eldest being in Middle Earth, Tom Bombadil or Treebeard?

It would seem pretty obvious that Treebeard cannot be older than Tom Bombadil (who claims to remember "the first raindrop and the first acorn"). I would hardly consider this a "most noticeable inconsistency"

Comment: Re:Plot Hole (Score 5, Informative) 179

by Mitreya (#49613075) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

Short version: why didn't they just ask the Eagles to fly them to Mordor? Or over the mountains?

Short (prevalent) answer: Eagles would be extremely easy to spot over the skies of Mordor, and thus would be stopped before they got to Mount Doom. They were willing/able to pick up Frodo at the end because Sauron had already been defeated.

More discussion here

Comment: Re: Security theater (Score 3, Interesting) 224

by Mitreya (#49330099) Attached to: $1B TSA Behavioral Screening Program Slammed As "Junk Science"

I'm a frequent traveler and see the TSA has 90% theatre.

Do you care to identify the 10% that you consider non-theater? Because I travel often, and I don't see it. There is, for example, not even a consistency with respect to how they do pat-down when you refuse the scanners. It really seems like they are making it up as they go along (or maybe it is city-based, I haven't compiled data). The only consistent thing they are taught to do is to check behind the ankle.

Comment: Re:Stupid move (Score 1) 671

by Mitreya (#49174731) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

There is no such thing as a fair trial in this country, the deck is stacked in favor of the prosecution at every stage and we saw how they treated Manning.

I agree with you, but looking at Manning is still a bad analogy. Manning was in the military and therefore went to a court-martial and was held at a military base before that.

Comment: Re:Passed Time (Score 1) 135

by Mitreya (#49174575) Attached to: Supreme Court Gives Tacit Approval To Warrantless DNA Collection

Today it might be able to tell the police you have blonde hair and blue eyes, but so can your driver's license. Sure it might eventually be able to let the police generate a picture of what you look like based on your DNA, but once again so can your driver's license.

Ah, but can the drivers license tell the police that you are predisposed to [serial murder, mental illness, being a sociopath]? Because there are certainly studies looking at whether genes can (http://www.nc-cm.org/article213.htm)

Comment: Re:Sony should return to its roots (Score 2) 188

by Mitreya (#49098099) Attached to: Why Sony Should Ditch Everything But the PlayStation

They should dump the "content" divisions..the movie studio and record company

So you are saying they should dump the high-margin division that thrives in the non-competitive, cartel-controlled market with imaginary losses (Hollywood accounting, anyone?)

They should do whatever it takes to return to being the world's best electronics company

...and go back to focusing on low-margin division where they would have to face real competition and where all expenses and losses are, in fact, real and not made up?

That sounds like an excellent plan.

Comment: Re:Well then we're all doomed (Score 1) 348

by Mitreya (#48856915) Attached to: Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

but given that two hundred years ago your life expectancy would have been around 40 years, drastic action is hardly called for.

It was NOT. You are misinformed. The average life expectancy may have been in 30-40 range, but it was caused by childhood mortality. For anyone who survived birth and early childhood, life expectancy was much, much higher.

As per Wikipedia (here), even in Upper Paleolithic era, life expectancy at birth was 32, but for anyone who reached the age of 15 life expectancy was already at 54 instead.

Comment: Re:It was dry, but not BAD like Phantom Menace (Score 1) 351

by Mitreya (#48663959) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

I'm a Tolkien fanboy, and I was pleasantly surprised at PJ's LOTR films.

There were some very odd decisions, but all in all the LOTR movies were surprisingly good.

The Hobbit films are really forgettable, except for a few great scenes here and there, which are about %20 of the total.

Where? I am hard pressed to think of something for the 1st movie and I haven't seen a single good scene anywhere in the 2nd Hobbit movie. Maybe I missed something?

The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins