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Comment: Re:Just Tack on a Fee (Score 1) 626

by RogerWilco (#47074029) Attached to: Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

The problem with that philosophy is the less able drivers, like the elderly, who need that amount of attention to function at, or too often, well below the speed limit.

The speed limit doesn't exist for you, roads are designed so that grandma can drive it. That's why it is boring for most able bodied younger people.

The second problem is that a lot of people underestimate their reaction time. This is because your body lies to you and delays your perception to make it seem you react much faster than you actually do.

The combination of these two factors is that with higher speed limits, or when speeding, you end up with lot's of crashes between high speed vehicles and "grandma".

There is plenty of evidence. for example, traffic accidents in Belgium used to be 4x higher than in the Netherlands, until they changed their law to allow speed cameras, just like in the Netherlands. This dropped the number of traffic accidents by a factor of 3 as people stopped speeding.
That's a HUGE difference.

Comment: Re:painted into a corner... (Score 1) 403

by RogerWilco (#47073915) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can <em>Star Wars Episode VII</em> Be Saved?

My problem with the new Star Trek movies is that they're fun, but they're not Star Trek. They're an SF action movie in Star Trek clothes.

Star Trek is always about the human condition. When I leave the theatre after a ST movie, I want to be asking myself if I would have done the same thing as in the movie.

The Adams ST movies have none of that, they're as empty as a Transformers movie.

A Star Trek movie needs to make me wonder and question myself.

Comment: Re: Your system of government killed it (Score 2) 157

by RogerWilco (#47073609) Attached to: Who Helped Kill Patent Troll Reform In the Senate

I think the first-part-the-pole district based system is very flawed.

- It makes lawmakers more beholden to local constituencies that to the general good of the country.
- It leads to a two party system.
- It makes it really hard to create new parties to keep the system fresh and with-the-times.
- Because everything is represented in only two parties, these parties are overly broad and tend to have a lot of infighting.
- It makes things like gerrymandering possible.
- It makes some votes much more valuable than others. (swing states).

It's only advantage is that you're almost sure to always have a governing majority. Unless you split your government into multiple chambers and elections of course...

Comment: Re:still too expensive (Score 1) 261

by RogerWilco (#44307083) Attached to: Piracy Rates Plummet As Legal Alternatives Come To Norway

If pay-per-month streaming services would be available in my country. (The Netherlands).

The only options I have are Spotify and iTunes. And iTunes only started selling a few movies last year, before that they only had music.

iTunes USA refuses to sell to me, as do Netflix, Hulu and the like, because I'm in the wrong country.

If I'm lucky something will be released on DVD two or more years after it was aired for the first time, if it's released in Region 2 at all, sometimes there is only a Region 1 release.

No wonder illegal downloading is big in my country.

Comment: Piracy offers a better service (Score 1) 261

by RogerWilco (#44307057) Attached to: Piracy Rates Plummet As Legal Alternatives Come To Norway

Unfortunately Netflix and such aren't available in my country. I do have a Spotify premium account and I like it a lot.

It all comes down to being able to watch/listen where, when and how I want without limitations.

Spotify allows me to download my playlists to my phone or my laptop and listen to it everywhere.

I had cases where I had legitimately bought the Blu-Ray, but the system crapped out when I tried to run it and it needed a software update. After messing with it for over an hour, I just downloaded a ripped version and watched that, it was easier than trying to get the Blu-Ray disk to work. (Avatar if you're interested, there were a lot of people with problems with that one).

I also might want to watch some episodes of a TV series I have on my phone or tablet. But this is a pain as well.

I hardly download anything. Nowadays if I can't easily watch/listen to it legally in the way I want, I just don't buy it. (I haven't bought a Blu-Ray disk since the pain I had with the Avatar disk, even though I did get it to run after messing with the software update some more on a later date).

If it's harder to use the legal medium than it is to use the illegal medium, then they need t fix things.

Comment: Scientific Programmer (Score 2) 237

by RogerWilco (#44306953) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Scientific Research Positions For Programmers?

There are definitely positions at the Bachelor and Master level (In Comp.Sci or equivalent) at universities and research institutes.
Also don't forget large oil firms and the like.

There are two types:
- Scientific Programmers: Those that work on implementing, scaling and optimizing algorithms for number crunching purposes. Knowledge of the specific field is certainly an advantage here.
- Generic Programmers: From lab automation to webpages, database backends, archives and various other things that organisations need to do their work.

It's hard to get a permanent contract though, as a lot of the funding is on projects for 2-5 years.

Job adverts might be on the sites of the organisations themselves and sometimes the employers have a combined website. In the Netherlands there is AcademicTransfer for example, where all publicly funded research organisations pool their job adds.

Comment: Re:Why are generators in the basement? (Score 1) 231

by RogerWilco (#41854143) Attached to: NYC Data Centers Struggle To Recover After Sandy

I think in places like NYC it has to do with real estate prices. Everything above ground is probably expensive as humans can live/work there. It's the underground places where no sunlight penetrates that gets the machines and utilities as nobody cares if they have any windows. Also these machines are usually heavy so it's easy to put them into basements as no lifting is required and means the structure of the building can be lighter.

It's not a good idea in case of disasters, but it makes a lot of economic sense in the short term for a lot of reasons. The problem is that especially the USA isn't very good at having their infrastructure and buildings robust against disasters. To an outsider it's obvious that the choice in the US seems to be that it's cheaper to rebuild than to make things hurricane/flooding/tornado/earthquake-proof. The best example is Katrina. Areas in the Netherlands have separate organisations for managing the water. It's not part of government and has it's own taxes and separate elections. A lot of these go back to medieval times. They care for the waterways, dikes, levies, shelters, disaster relief and similar structures. It's their sole responsibility and absolute priority. So there is never a trade-off against healthcare, military, education, transportation or any other government function. It's like if you would make FEMA and the corps of engineers into completely independent organisations with their own taxes and elections.

Comment: Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (Score 1) 561

by RogerWilco (#41486409) Attached to: Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

Well, they are using data from TomTom as far as I understand.

I have the TomTom app on my iPhone and it's a lot better than the iOS 6 maps though. It's expensive and takes a lot of storage space, but it's great, especially if you might find yourself without network/internet in a foreign country or just a remote location. I have literally crossed 3 continents with it. The quality of the app, POI and map data is very very good. I must have spent about $100 to get North America, Europe and Oceania, but its well worth it. It knows all speed cameras and speed limits, it must have saved me a multitude of my investment in speeding fines alone.

Given that Apple apparently uses the same data, I'm surprised at how much worse their results are.

Comment: Re:Competition (Score 1) 561

by RogerWilco (#41486381) Attached to: Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

I find that the TomTom apps for the iPhone have both very good POI and map data. I've literally crossed 3 continents with them and they're really really good. They're not free though and take a lot of storage space.

Apple has done much worse with the same data than TomTom itself. I was rather surprised and disappointed.

Comment: Re:Competition (Score 1) 561

by RogerWilco (#41486279) Attached to: Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

I have the TomTom apps on my iPhone for several continents. They take a lot of space, but work very very well. I've travelled in Europe, North America and Australia/New Zealand, it has been very accurate, has a very good points-of-interest database, voice navigation, lane assist, traffic assist and up to date and correct maps.

I am very surprised that the quality of the iOS map application is so much less. It's very not-Apple (maybe post Steve Jobs?) to release like this, and also I would not like to be TomTom at this moment, if must rub off on them a little as well.

The TomTom applications aren't cheap, and take many GB of space (about 5 GB per continent), but they allow you full offline navigation. Personally I haven't regretted spending the money one second, and several times it has saved me a lot of time and trouble, especially in rural areas of places like Nevada, Australia, Sweden if you need to find a fuel station, restaurant, place to sleep or get to one you one you booked earlier. But it also works in NYC or Paris.

I'm just surprised.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 957

by RogerWilco (#41447211) Attached to: Pakistan's PM Demands International Blasphemy Laws From UN

You are very correct. the Middle East is a very different place than it was 30-40 years ago.

Most of this change seems to be fueled by oil money from Saudi-Arabia. Nearly all Qurans printed are using their version of interpretation of the texts. At least that's what I've heard.

The unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestina isn't helping either. Every time it errupts it reopens old wounds.

Comment: Re:Not really (Score 1) 361

by RogerWilco (#41364389) Attached to: Why America's School "Lag" Has Never Mattered

The USA has had a lot of advantages by being a largely immigrant country.

It's not just education, but also things like healthcare, age and health of the workforce, etc.

If you stop the immigration, you all of a sudden need to start caring for your own population much more. I think that in 50 years, America will look much more like Europe than today.

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