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Comment: Re:Automation (Score 1) 289

by PrimaryConsult (#49786867) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

... And what do you do if a train enters a dead zone where it will not accept other control input (either due to bad reception, natural damage or sabotage)? Continue on course, possibly into an obstruction / over a bridge that has collapsed? Or fail-safe, where it simply comes to a stop in the dead zone, potentially stranding hundreds of passengers for hours while someone drives out there to check on it?

Comment: Re:And what about the infrastructure issues? (Score 1) 289

by PrimaryConsult (#49785401) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

They do. The northeast corridor (where the accident happened) *does* operate in the black (as does the Empire Corridor in NYS and I believe the pacific coast trains). However, the routes connecting all of these regions lose a lot of money, and have more senators along the way.

There are two reasons we have Amtrak: One is the intentional destruction of local transportation infrastructure caused by the likes of GM, Greyhound and Standard Oil, from the 30s-50s. The other is that the government in the 60s was heavily taxing railway tickets and infrastructure and directly funneling the funds into airports and interstates, the very competition of the railroads. They were taking rail stations, moving them out of downtowns onto freight bypass routes on the outskirts of towns, and putting highways over the old ROWs. Passenger rail became unprofitable, but the companies were being forced to continue running the unprofitable passenger services by regulations. The result was they started going bankrupt. By the time the government realized the national rail infrastructure was about to disappear like a fart in the wind, they hacked together Amtrak as a way to "bail out" the railroads from a problem largely caused by the decades of meddling.

Tl;dr: unfair practices by both the private and public sector killed profitable passenger rail half a century ago, and no one knows how to fix it. Amtrak is the band-aid.

Comment: Re:Will never happen with the big 3 (Score 1) 86

by PrimaryConsult (#49783949) Attached to: Hyundai Now Offers an Android Car, Even For Current Owners

Umm, I can already install firmware updates to my Chrysler. There are already "plug and play" hardware devices that unlock extra capabilities to the infotainment system. Once it is off warranty it won't really matter whether they will "let" people update the software, I can see it being on the level of installing custom PSP firmware.

Comment: Re:New Jersey and Other Fictions... (Score 1) 615

by PrimaryConsult (#49714131) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Ehh, your "pay more" comment doesn't really make sense for NJ. The gas there is the cheapest in the northeast. The difference between NJ and NY can easily be 40 cents / gallon.

In the wintertime, full serve is a godsend. I'd gladly pay an extra 10 cents / gallon to not get out of my car.

Comment: Re:Last night's flood at DFW airport proves him wr (Score 1) 241

by PrimaryConsult (#49650173) Attached to: James Comey: the Man Who Wants To Outlaw Encryption

Which goes to show that no one is applying discretion when enforcing these rules. Providing exceptions when the situation calls for it is required in many situations. Things like allowing people to use an emergency staircase while an escalator is under repair, or allowing drivers to cross the double yellow when there's a fallen tree blocking the lane for your direction of travel. In the case of DFW airport case they should have simply allowed people to re-enter security (provided they comply with all the rules, obviously you can't bring your checked baggage through if it contains things that cannot enter the secure area) would have been immensely helpful.

And they certainly could have. For years the only currency exchange in town was located in the secure area of the airport. Customers would go to a TSA office outside the secure area, provide ID, sign a log and be given a photo ID pass to enter the secure area for a short amount of time (I believe the default was an hour). The pass was to be handed to the TSA agent guarding the exit, and they would reconcile the returned passes with the sign in log. Not sure what happened to you if you forgot to return the pass, and wasn't particularly interested in finding out.

Comment: Re:How many minutes until this is mandatory? (Score 1) 287

by PrimaryConsult (#49335973) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

Part of this problem is unrealistically slow speed limits. In the NYC area all highways have a maximum speed limit of 50, including the interstates. So you have the "local" speeders and the out of towners who are used to the faster speeds all travelling happily at speed, and then some douche is going the speed limit in lane 3 of a 4 lane road, causing people to split around him like Moses parting the sea and re-enter that lane. Countless unnecessary merges.

Comment: Re:Do what you can to support this (Score 5, Interesting) 188

by PrimaryConsult (#49335061) Attached to: New Bill Would Repeal Patriot Act

Seriously, if there was ever a time the slashdot effect was needed, it's now.

Apathy towards the workings of our government are what allowed the Patriot Act to last this long, I hope that same apathy can be counted on to keep the "whatever to keep us safe!" crowd from fighting its repeal.

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." -- Albert Einstein