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Comment: Re:Poor material choice (Score 1) 161

by Bogtha (#47712607) Attached to: Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

Given the nature of the mission and power source (multi-year if not multi-decade operation on another planet with no hope of human intervention if something should go wrong)

Curiosity was intended to last two years, it's been going for almost three. It wasn't intended to last this long, and it definitely wasn't intended to operate for decades.

Comment: Re:Safety vs Law (Score 0) 468

by cream wobbly (#47706317) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Speed limits aren't the same as speed limits.

Let me clarify:

UK speed limits aren't the same thing as US speed limits. They have different reasons for existence. In the UK speeds are set at a reasonable level for the condition of the road. In the US, somebody counts their fingers and toes until they can't go any higher and puts the result (or something like it) on a sign. Either that or police departments say "We're not meeting our speed ticket quota" and have the limit lowered. Often new lower limits are posted after a road is improved. And that's considering US speed limits were often originally set for unmetalled farm tracks. So we have wide two-way roads with 50 mph speed limits where a narrower road would be 60 in the UK. We have urban dual carriageways with a 35 mph limit where the UK would see 50 mph. We have rural divided highways with 50 mph limits where the UK limit would be the default 70 mph. Big difference.

So absolutely, speeding in the US is normal driving, and per TFS, not speeding is the more dangerous habit.

That doesn't transfer to the UK, where speeding is antisocial arseclown behaviour.

Comment: Re:Left or Right? (Score 3, Insightful) 468

by cream wobbly (#47705979) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Closer to the point of the article, habits of US drivers do not automatically transfer to other countries. In the US it's very common for drivers to overshoot when making a turn onto a multi-lane street (e.g., driver in lane 1 of 2 turns right onto lane 3 of 3, where 1 is rightmost lane). In the UK it's bordering on the unconscionable.

But this lack of bad habits is an advantage of moving to the UK (and Europe). Also for the facts that signage and road markings are far clearer and more consistent, and vehicle roadworthiness rules are enforced. The basics can be dealt with in a wonderland of discipline and safety, and then the project can be booted back over the wall to the US team to deal with the road stupid I have to deal with daily.

Comment: Re:Left or Right? (Score 2) 468

by cream wobbly (#47705867) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Not just "left or right?", but "10 mph over or 10% + 3 mph over?". In the US, you can typically drive 10 mph over the limit without getting pulled over by police. In the UK the rule is 10% of the speed limit + 3 mph for equipment tolerances. So, if the posted limit is 25 mph, your "hard limit" is 25 + 2.5 + 3 = 30.5 mph. Likewise for 70 mph (national limit for motorways and dual carriageways), the "hard limit" is 70 + 7 + 3 = 80 mph.

Chalk it up to another case where American assumptions do not apply abroad.

Comment: Re:I don't see it.... (Score 1) 179

by Bogtha (#47696969) Attached to: Xiaomi's Next OS Looks Strikingly Similar To iOS

iOS seems to have been last to join the flat look crowd.

It's not really accurate to say that iOS 7's design is flat. It actually has more depth than the earlier design, it's just that the individual items in each layer are flat.

So, for example, the Apple application's icons on the home screen are flat, but they are floating over a parallax background that gives the feeling of depth. The buttons in the control centre are flat, but the translucent background of the control centre gives the impression that it's sitting on top of the home screen.

They even spell it out explicitly on their website when they talk about iOS 7's design:

Distinct and functional layers help create depth and establish hierarchy and order. The use of translucency provides a sense of context and place.

Comment: Re:Two things.... (Score 2) 249

by Bogtha (#47675115) Attached to: Apple's App Store Needs a Radical Revamp; How Would You Go About It?

And although many on Slashdot complain about the "Walled Garden", having an App store run by Apple itself provides some assurance to the customer that the App is legit and not some form of malware.

I don't think malware is particularly worrisome in the average user's mind. I think it's more about quality.

Speaking as an application developer, the vast majority of times I've had to say to clients "Apple won't allow that", it's been something that is self-serving and user-unfriendly if not downright abusive. Apple serve as a convenient foil for developers who care about users and stop developers who don't care from going too far.

As a developer, I know first hand how frustrating it is to have a great idea for something that Apple simply won't allow, but at the same time, I frequently see the benefit its policies bring to end users.

For instance, just the other day I saw a developer complain that a client wanted to force users to enter their personal information (e.g. age) before they could use the application, so that they could use it for marketing. Simple solution: Apple don't allow that. But Google does. How do you think policies like that are reflected in the average application quality?

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.