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Comment Re:Looking forwards (Score 1) 181

That's a strange argument; it's not about banning or not banning, it's about a) ensuring that some players don't have an unfair advantage over others, and b) that the sport doesn't simply become a technological arms race. That doesn't mean that you stop all development, otherwise tennis players would still play with wooden raquets, for example, and we wouldn't have innovations like hawkeye and TV referees. But you place restrictions on equipment so that new technology is allowed when it's readily available to all players, and when it genuinely adds something to the sport, making it a better spectacle or whatever.

This curling issue is a perfect example; it would be impossible to have a fair competition with these directional fabric brooms right now, because even if all players got them, the ones that haven't been using them to date won't have so much time to figure out how to best use them. So they're banned for now. In the future, the curling governing bodies may look at them again, and decide that they make the sport a better spectacle, and as long as they're going to be readily available to all players they might then choose to allow them.

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

Similar topic came up on Ars Technica recently about Microsoft withdrawing the unlimited SkyDrive accounts; one user had reportedly used 75TB so far, for example. I got downvoted for suggesting that either you are the 75TB guy, or you're subsidising the 75TB guy, and that's exactly why "unlimited" plans can't work. I guess I'll get hammered for it here too, but it's just a statement of fact if you ask me. Whether it's mobile data or cloud storage, if you call it "unlimited", sooner or later some people are going to use it beyond the point of profitability, so either you're going to jack up the prices for everybody to make up for what those few are costing you, or you get rid the "unlimited" plan and go back to something a bit more sensible.

Comment Re:Light field re-defined (Score 3, Informative) 30

Not so new.

"Michael Faraday was the first to propose (in an 1846 lecture entitled "Thoughts on Ray Vibrations") that light should be interpreted as a field, much like the magnetic fields on which he had been working for several years. The phrase light field was coined by Alexander Gershun in a classic paper on the radiometric properties of light in three-dimensional space (1936)."


Comment Re:No car hits its official CO2 output level (Score 2) 208

Or its mpg for that matter

My VW diesel has a claimed 55mpg, and I get 50mpg on a short (15 minute, half town, half highway) commute, as long as I obey the speed limit. It can drop to 40 if I'm in a hurry. I don't really know exactly what driving conditions the "combined cycle" mpg figure is meant to represent, but to me 50mpg seemed pretty close to the claimed figure, to be honest. If their other infringements were that marginal, I don't think they'd be in so much trouble.

Comment Hmmm (Score 3, Insightful) 142

However VW denies the vehicles have software designed to cheat tests.

Instead the company says that cars with the 3.0 litre diesel V6 engines "had a software function which had not been adequately described in the application process".

If VW wants to get past this scandal, they really need to adopt a full-transparency, maximum mea culpa stance right now, and this kind of statement does not appear to be helping. If there's a software function that seems to the EPA to be cheating on emissions tests, well, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

Comment Re:Welcome to Europe (Score 2) 259

However Americans are far better drivers than Europe and most of the traffic come from people who do not live in the city.

Lol, what a ridiculous thing to say. Europe is a big place (as is America), and driving standards vary a lot across the many countries it comprises, so it's completely meaningful to talk as if there is one standard of driving. I'm sure standards vary across the USA also, but it's not my experience that Americans are better drivers than the Europeans I'm familiar with.

The UK has a stringent driving test (far more stringent than what I understand is typical in the USA), and I have been to few places with driving standards that come close; certainly not the parts of the USA where I've driven. Germany is possibly better inside cities, but there are some lunatics on the autobahns. France and Italy, I grant you, there are a lot of questionable drivers in the cities, but I would say the average standard is quite good. I can only judge eastern Europe from all the dashcam footage on youtube, and let's just say that I hope that isn't too representative.

Of course, that's just my empirical view, but simply looking at the stats, we can see that the since USA has 11.6 road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year, while the UK is on 3.5, Germany 4.3, France 4.9, Italy 6.2, Russia 18.6, my empirical observations seem to be in line with reality.

Comment Re:Says more about Consumer Reports than the car (Score 2) 222

Seems a bit harsh. You can only go with the information available at the time. You're not going to be able to pick up on longer term wear-and-tear issues until the products have actually been around for a while. Now that that information is available, they've updated their opinion to factor it in. That seems eminently reasonable and honest to me. I guess they could refuse to give an opinion on anything until it has been around for a year or two...

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