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Comment This ought to be entertaining... (Score 1) 865

We have a Toyota RAV4 with the keyless technology, and it's worked pretty well, but there was one night when I tried to start it while a train was passing about 200 feet away. There must have been some pretty good RFI from the train, because the car would not start until the train was gone. So, I'm wondering if we could find ourselves in a situation in which solar flares or some new use of radio by the military might suddenly render all the motor vehicles inoperable. (It's not like this kind of thing hasn't happened before.) Then, too, there's the problem that these keys seem to be notoriously easy to hack.


70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals 676

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Investor's Business Daily:"Buried deep in a section of President Obama's budget, released this week, is an eye-opening fact: This year, 70% of all the money the federal government spends will be in the form of direct payments to individuals, an all-time high. In effect, the government has become primarily a massive money-transfer machine, taking $2.6 trillion from some and handing it back out to others. These government transfers now account for 15% of GDP, another all-time high. In 1991, direct payments accounted for less than half the budget and 10% of GDP. What's more, the cost of these direct payments is exploding. Even after adjusting for inflation, they've shot up 29% under Obama." It's very hard to lay blame on only one part of the U.S. government, though; as the two largest parties are often fond of pointing out when it suits them, all spending bills originate in the House.

Comment Re:Minor problem with aluminum (Score 1) 521

I was thinking something along this line, too. It's common knowledge in the bicycling world that aluminum can't return to its original shape, hence aluminum bike frames must be discarded after a crash. For body panels, that's no big deal, since body shops these days generally replace them anyway, but for structural members, aluminum could be a problem. And of course, it's important to remember the lessons from the Chevy Vega, which gave aluminum block engines a bad name in the early 1970s.

Satanists Propose Monument At Oklahoma State Capitol Next To Ten Commandments 1251

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Tulsa World reports that in their zeal to tout their faith in the public square, conservatives in Oklahoma may have unwittingly opened the door to a wide range of religious groups, including satanists who are now seeking to put their own statue next to a Ten Commandments monument on the Statehouse steps. The Republican-controlled Legislature in Oklahoma authorized the privately funded Ten Commandments monument in 2009, and it was placed on the Capitol grounds last year despite criticism from legal experts who questioned its constitutionality. But the New York-based Satanic Temple saw an opportunity and notified the state's Capitol Preservation Commission that it wants to donate a monument too. 'We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards,' Lucien Greaves wrote in letter to state officials. 'Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines.' Brady Henderson, legal director for ACLU Oklahoma, said if state officials allow one type of religious expression, they must allow alternative forms of expression, although he said a better solution might be to allow none at all on state property. 'We would prefer to see Oklahoma's government officials work to faithfully serve our communities and improve the lives of Oklahomans instead of erecting granite monuments to show us all how righteous they are,' says Henderson. 'But if the Ten Commandments, with its overtly Christian message, is allowed to stay at the Capitol, the Satanic Temple's proposed monument cannot be rejected because of its different religious viewpoint.'"

Comment Re:Not the only state with this law (Score 1) 670

It would not. The compartment is not being used for drugs. That seems to be what everyone is glazing over.

TFA quoted, but did not link to, an article by WKYC which mentions that the police detected a strong odor of marijuana, which led them to the closer investigation revealing the secret compartment. Still, this seems like a case worthy of appeal. I am suspicious of laws based on intent, as intent is hard to prove.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 249

If you have a problem navigating at a cycling pace, you have more serious issues.

It can be pretty serious, all right. My last crash happened when the pack came to a fork in the road and the guys in the front hadn't been paying attention to the route sheet. FWIW, though, in my cycling club, we print out an easily-readable list of turns and mileages, which riders clip to the handlebar or brake cable, and this has generally worked pretty well for the 30 years I've been riding with bike clubs. And when I'm mapping out a route for myself in unfamiliar territory, I write a similar route sheet.

One potential problem with the Hammerhead is that bicyclists sometimes ride in places where there is no cell phone service. I've tried using Google Maps on occasion (while stopped on the side of the road), and the map information simply isn't there. The Garmin solutions are far better than the phone.

"The Mets were great in 'sixty eight, The Cards were fine in 'sixty nine, But the Cubs will be heavenly in nineteen and seventy." -- Ernie Banks