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Comment: Re:Arbitrary judgement of driving style (Score 1) 73

by PvtVoid (#49441479) Attached to: Phone App That Watches Your Driving Habits Leads To Privacy Concerns

The problem with that is that this device and insurance in general doesn't factor in driver ability. Sure I brake harder and later than the general driving population and I corner like my car is on rails. But 1) I actually have a decent amount of race track experience where I actually AM controlling the car at the absolute limits, 2) I never come close to those limits on the street, 3) I maintain my car significantly better than the average vehicle on the road, 4) I have far better tires than the average vehicle on the road, and 5) I have a much lighter and easier to control car [Miata WOOHOO] than the average car on the road.

However none of my 5 points factor in on insurance. Why would I let them track me to see that my car brakes harder and corners faster than the average car if they won't factor in the driving abilities and vehicular factors that make me safer than the average driver?

From this study summary:

The belief that increasing skill would reduce crash rates has seemed to many too obvious to be worth investigating. Such a belief reinforces the view that driver education must increase safety, even in the face of so much evidence that it does not (Chapter 8). It is widely held by driving aficionados that high-skill drivers are inherently safe drivers.

This was examined directly by comparing the on-the-road driving records of unusually skilled drivers to the records of average drivers. The investigators obtained the names and addresses of national competition license holders from the Sports Car Club of America. They compared the on-the-road driving records of these license holders (referred to in their paper as racing drivers) in Florida, New York, and Texas, to comparison groups of drivers in the same states matched in such characteristics as gender and age.

The results of the study are summarized in Fig. 9-1, which displays the violation and crash rates for the racing drivers divided by the corresponding rates for the comparison drivers. If there were no differences between the groups of drivers, these ratios would all be close to one, whereas if the racing drivers had lower rates, the ratios would be less than one. What is found is that in all 12 combinations examined, the rates for the racing drivers exceeded those for the comparison drivers, in most cases by considerable amounts. Thus, on a per year basis, the racing drivers not only had substantially more violations, especially speeding violations, but also more crashes.

This is supported for me anecotally: I have several friends who spend a lot of time on the track, and are highly skilled drivers. They all drive like total assholes on the public roads.

Comment: Re:Arbitrary judgement of driving style (Score 1) 73

by PvtVoid (#49440413) Attached to: Phone App That Watches Your Driving Habits Leads To Privacy Concerns

Se we should all be mindless sheeple who accelerate so slowly you get passed by a scooter, and corner so peacefully that the keychain barely moves away form vertical?

The insurance industry is suggesting we all drive like scared 80 year olds?

I'd rather die or just give the fuck up and get a driverless car.

Fine with me, as long as you don't whinge about other people getting lower insurance rates.

Comment: Re:Arbitrary judgement of driving style (Score 1) 73

by PvtVoid (#49437069) Attached to: Phone App That Watches Your Driving Habits Leads To Privacy Concerns

Is someone who briskly takes off from a light -- not doing burnouts or other kinds of hooning, -- automatically less safe than someone who rolls out at snails' pace?

Is someone who goes around a corner with some amount of G automatically less safe than those who take forever to negotiate the same corner?

Do you think insurance companies are a bunch of idiots who just make this shit up? No, they've done extensive studies of the correlations between particular driver behaviors and insurance costs, and guess what: these sorts of behaviors are strongly correlated with higher insurance costs. For example, they're twice as predictive as using points on your license.

Comment: Re:Needs a honeypot (Score 0) 336

It has to be better than that, though. The would-be killers need to be shot down, and then the MPs need to pose the very dead Obi Wannabe Jihaddi next to a 12 year old girl holding a shotgun and smiling.

Even better, how about a video of Obi being beheaded with a knife? Nobody's thought of that one before.

+ - Fraud Rampant in Apple Pay->

Submitted by PvtVoid
PvtVoid (1252388) writes "An industry consultant, Cherian Abraham, put the fraud rate at 6 percent, compared with a traditional credit card fraud rate that is relatively minuscule, 10 cents for every $100 spent. [i.e. one tenth of one percent]

The vulnerability in Apple Pay is in the way that it — and card issuers — “onboard” new credit cards into the system. Because Apple wanted its system to have the simplicity for which it has become famous and wanted to make the sign-up process “frictionless,” the company required little beyond basic credit card information about a user. Nor did it provide much information to the banks, like full phone numbers and addresses, that might help them detect fraud early.

The banks, desperate to become their customers’ default card on Apple Pay — most add only one to their iPhones — did little to build their own defenses or to push Apple to provide more detailed information about its customers. Some bank executives acknowledged that they were were so scared of Apple that they didn’t speak up."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Feminist bullshit (Score 5, Informative) 41

by PvtVoid (#49212093) Attached to: The Astronomer Who Brought Us the Universe

yes, I'm sure she worked in complete isolation, and developed everything by herself.

No, she was a part of a group consisting entirely of women under the management of Edward Pickering at Harvard Observatory, called at the time "Pickering's Harem" Despite her groundbreaking accomplishments, Leavitt was unable to obtain a faculty position at Harvard, entirely due to her gender.

Times have changed a lot since then, despite the efforts of ignorant douchebags like you.

Comment: Re:Let me see (Score 2) 41

by PvtVoid (#49211881) Attached to: The Astronomer Who Brought Us the Universe

Well, here's where you open yourself up. Distance measurements benefit from longer baselines. The biggest one we have now is about 2AU wide. Take a picture now, wait 6 months, take a picture again when the earth is on the opposite side of the sun. If we have a base on mars, we can have a slightly wider baseline with earth and mars on opposite sides of the sun for a simultaneous measurement (can't do that now at all) and two martian orbital radii for non-simulataneous measurements about a year apart.

Now you might say: well why can't we do this with a remote probe?

We are: It's called Gaia. The baseline isn't really the limiting factor, nor is mirror size: it's mostly about atmospheric distortion and instrument stability, both of which are vastly improved in space. Gaia will be able to do parallaxes to accuracy of 20 micro-arcseconds.

Comment: Re:I Read All of Heinlein's Stuff (Score 1) 331

by PvtVoid (#49182237) Attached to: 'The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress' Coming To the Big Screen

A lot of his work was good, and even his weaker stuff is still worth a read -- some neat stuff explored; but your definitely looking through a window into Heinlein's political, economic, and sexual ideology and it becomes apparent to the point of being an annoying distraction.

The thing that stood out for me re-reading Mistress recently was that Heinlein was an utter troglodyte about gender roles. He was progressive for his time, but his treatment of women really stands out, and not in a good way, when reading his books with a modern sensibility.

Comment: Re:Realistic (Score 1, Troll) 374

by PvtVoid (#49129833) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

Because there is a consensus that widespread adoption of solar power is a net good for the society as a whole.

And they're unwilling to pay for it with their own money.

Government's money is our money. We get to vote on how it's used. If I believe that subsidizing an activity undertaken by someone else is to my benefit, I will vote to do so. This is me choosing how to use my own money.

Oh, wait: you must be a Libertarian, and therefore think that you as an individual have a personal veto over everything the government might decide to do. Never mind.

Comment: Recorded music is a form of advertising (Score 4, Insightful) 305

by PvtVoid (#49112047) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

Why do artists expect to be paid at all for recordings of their music? For a very brief period in history, making money off of recordings was made possible by a coincidental combination of technology and artificial scarcity caused by the cumbersome nature of physical media. Before the advent of physical recordings, musicians had to make money by performing. After the advent of digital recordings, musicians will once again have to make money by performing. Anything else will prove to have been historically anomalous.

Making and distributing recordings will still be in artists' interest, because they will serve as a way to generate demand for performances. That is, recordings will become a form of advertising, which will be distributed for all intents and purposes for free, or even at the expense of artists.

Can we quit wringing our hands about this now? Art will survive just fine.

Comment: Re: Numerology (Score 2) 183

by PvtVoid (#49084557) Attached to: Theory of Information Could Resolve One of the Great Paradoxes of Cosmology

To be clear, I (parent AC) wasn't saying that the probability distribution is the wave function, just that it is given by it (which you confirm, it is the square of the amplitude). Now consider you make an observation and collapse the system to a single state. This state had a certain probability of occurring (again, given by the wave function). If you try to measure again, you will get the same state.

Only if you don't observe any orthogonal characteristics in the meantime. Consider a two-state system, with eigenstates |a> and |b> (for example, z-spin). Now consider an orthogonal basis |1> and |2> (for example, x-spin) which spans the same Hilbert space, such that

|1> = 1/\srqrt{2} |a> + 1/\sqrt{2} |b>
|2> = 1/\sqrt{2} |a> - 1/\sqrt{2} |b>

Now, suppose we observe the system to be in state |a>. Then if we perform an observation in the orthogonal basis, we will have a 50% probability to be in state |1> and 50% in state |2>. Suppose it's in state |2>. Now if we observe the first basis again, it's not in state |a> with certainty any more, despite the fact that we just measured it. It has a 50% chance to be in |a> and 50% to be in |b>.

There is no necessity to "restore coherence": the system is fully coherent throughout. This behavior does not happen with coins.

If you steal from one author it's plagiarism; if you steal from many it's research. -- Wilson Mizner