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Comment: Autonomous Early Braking (Score 1) 304

by Ottibus (#48902841) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

In the EU this is called Autonomous Early Braking and is effecively mandatory on all new cars (you don't get an NCAP rating without it). The argument, as others have explained, is not that this technology is foolproof but that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

I've no idea if EU cars will keep this feature in US models, but it would be great if we could use the same terminology on both sides of the Atlantic.

Comment: Re:I won't notice (Score 1) 332

by Ottibus (#48902825) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Resolution has always referred to the number of pixels available on the screen.

Resolution has multiple meanings, this one is a late arrival to the list. In the early days of Computer Graphics the term was used in the scientific sense that applies, for example, to telescopes.

I don't object to this new meaning, but it is simply not true to say that this is the only meaning of that word in the context of electronic displays.

Comment: Re:Of course it's good for society (Score 1) 227

by Ottibus (#48810811) Attached to: Lawrence Krauss On Scientists As Celebrities: Good For Science?

You mean the physician (not a scientist) who started the anti-vax movement?

Andrew Wakefield started the MMR controvesy by publishing a paper describing research that linked MMR to various negative outcomes. This clearly marks him out as a scientist not just a physician. This paper has since be shown to be both incorrect and fraudulent, so he was equally clearly an immoral person who used science to gain popularity.

As well as being pedantic I am also trying to make the serious point that scientists who become celebrities are not necessarily good scientists.

Comment: Science and opinion (Score 1) 227

by Ottibus (#48810119) Attached to: Lawrence Krauss On Scientists As Celebrities: Good For Science?

Scientist have political opinions too and they are just as entitled to express them as anyone else.

Indeed. But they are not entitled to present their opinions as science.

This is a very hard line to walk and it is easy to inadvertently add opinion to a scientific statement. For example, "Scientists are warning that infant mortality will fall significantly over the next 10 years" or "Scientists are warning that CO2 emissions will cause a rise in global temperatures". Both of these statements expression an opinion about a prediction rather than simply stating the prediction. Better to use neutral words to focus on the science not the opinion: "Scientists are predicting that infant mortality will fall significantly over the next 10 years" or "Scientists are predicting that CO2 emissions will cause a rise in global temperatures"

And, to be fair, these opinions are often added by the media in order to make the results more interesting.

Comment: Re:How about ignoring it? (Score 1) 484

by Ottibus (#48640519) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

I can't believe anyone can be stupid enough to think cannabis is dangerous enough to merit criminalization.

What you can or cannot believe isn't important, the truth is that canabis can have a devastating effect on the developing teenage mind. Even if you don't consider that enough to warrant criminalization, that does not justify insulting those of us who do.

I wonder how you arrive at that "truth".

Simple, I saw it happen to someone close to me.

Even the arch-enemy of cannabis, Nora Volkow, head of NIDA, admits that they can't prove it because association is not causation.

Unfortunately you can't ethically perform the experiments that would prove this in the way that you would like. The fact is that a lot of medical evidence comes from looking at the results of long-term population studies which can show correlation but can never prove causation.

Comment: Re:How about ignoring it? (Score 2) 484

by Ottibus (#48633593) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

I can't believe anyone can be stupid enough to think cannabis is dangerous enough to merit criminalization.

What you can or cannot believe isn't important, the truth is that canabis can have a devastating effect on the developing teenage mind. Even if you don't consider that enough to warrant criminalization, that does not justify insulting those of us who do.

Comment: Re:More examples? (Score 1) 567

by Ottibus (#48579943) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

Text: It is easier to read pages on top each other than side-by-side

There are these weird things called books that might dispute that assertion

Books are limited by physical constraits which require a continuous text to be divided into pages. Computers are not so restricted and provide flexible layout and continuous scrolling. In this situation a portrait screen is more appopriate because the eye finds it difficult to scan very long lines of text (which is why books are usually portrait and why wide pages are often divided into multiple columns).

The good news is that computers give you the flexibility to choose whichever option you prefer.

Command-line: You can see more lines of output

Reading log files with wrapped lines or writing long, one line scripts is far better on a landscape-oriented widescreen monitor. I'm not sure what's wrong with shift+Page Up if you need to see more lines of output.

My personal view is that if you are generating very long lines of output or typing very long command lines, you are doing something wrong.

I get 150 columns in portrait mode which is enough for me, YMMV.

Comment: Re:Have Both (Score 2) 567

by Ottibus (#48573841) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

[...]one of the '4k' resolutions once the necessary displayport and HDMI revisions to run them above 30Hz settle down

You should be OK with DisplayPort for 4K, it has been around for a while. HDMI is more recent and therefore more marginal.

And I totally agree about waiting for 60Hz, 30Hz feels very sluggish for interactive work. I just got a 120Hz monitor and that feels pretty slick for desktops (as well as games, of course!)

Comment: It all goes back to ALGOL (Score 3, Informative) 641

by Ottibus (#48554787) Attached to: How Relevant is C in 2014?

"C++, Objective-C, Perl, Python, Java, PHP, C#, D and Go all have block syntax that's derived from C"

And C got the block syntax from B which got it from BCPL which was a simplified version of CPL which was influnced by the first block structured language, ALGOL.

I was taugh ALGOL at University, though I had already been "mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration" by BASIC before that...

Comment: Re:ENIAC wasn't the first (Score 1) 126

by Ottibus (#48466883) Attached to: How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

What it couldn't do (that ENIAC could) is store its program.

Nope, ENIAC couldn't do that either:

"The freeze on design in 1943 meant that the [ENIAC] computer design would lack some innovations that soon became well-developed, notably the ability to store a program."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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