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Comment: Re:Hi speed chase, hum? (Score 1) 443

by abigsmurf (#47437509) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One
It's probably pretty standard practice to send officers involved in accidents to hospital unless it's incredibly obvious that there couldn't be anything wrong with them.

Cheaper for them to have half a day's downtime and the price of going to ER than for them to have a non-obvious or seemingly minor injury that becomes serious because it didn't get treated (with all the lawsuits that go with it).

Comment: There's a reason this hasn't been made yet (Score 1) 86

by abigsmurf (#47132513) Attached to: A Bike Taillight that Goes Beyond Mere Taillighting (Video)
Flashing lights undoubtedly draw the attention of people behind them on the road.

The problem is they do their job too well and become mesmerizing, drawing attention away from actually driving. People become so focused on the lights they don't realise that they're driving dangerously close to the bike, they start to slowly edge onto the wrong side of the road or they simply miss hazards up ahead.

Lots of drivers dislike even simple blinking red lights because of this. This 'jumbotron' will actually make things far more dangerous for everyone involved and is even of questionable legality.

Comment: Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (Score 1) 152

by abigsmurf (#46716315) Attached to: Under the Chassis: A Look At Tesla's Battery Shield
It's perhaps the biggest example of the Tesla Kool-aid that being able to walk away from an engine fire is seen as something incredible and amazing.

In almost all engine fires, the only way you'll fail to walk away is because you were physically unable (trapped or unconcious). I've a low end 2003 Skoda fabia (costs approx , if my engine were to catch fire, I'd get the heat sensor beeping at me, then the engine warning light would beep at me, then, if I hadn't stopped by then, it'd go into crawl home mode. I'd imagine if a lot of people read their car manual they would find their car will do something similar, yet people were going crazy over how amazing it was that Teslas could do this.

Comment: Re:"Victim Blaming" (Score 1) 479

by abigsmurf (#46447975) Attached to: Author Says It's Time To Stop Glorifying Hackers
Victim blaming is unhealthy because it shifts the focus away from companies trying to come up with better methods to secure accounts.

Why say "we're at fault for not securing our database and not hashing passwords in a way where rainbow tables are impractical" when you can say "they shouldn't have used such weak passwords!" and take the blame off of themselves?

Two factor authentication for example is a very effective way of securing 'stupid' users. Heck it's secure enough to enable a lot of banks to store two-way encrypted passwords and make their log in algorithms more robust against keyloggers (it's a myth that passwords have to be hashed for the best security). Two factor Authentication however is difficult and expensive so there's all the more incentive for blaming users who get infected with trojans or suffer when their passwords get compromised.

Comment: Re:PHPs badness is its advantage. (Score 1) 254

by abigsmurf (#46408565) Attached to: The New PHP
Drupal is great in that it's gotten me lots of jobs and also lessens the whole "we need you to learn the structure of our horrible proprietary CMS" situation.

It is depressing just how many horrible hacks you find you need to do for 'basic' things. At the end of large projects I always tend to find I've a huge number of indecipherable preprocess functions in template files and custom modules.

At least 99% of the time, someone has had the exact same issue you're having. Just a shame you have to sift through 100 post threads with dozens of different patches to try or people who fixed the problem but in Drupal 6 (it's going to be fun when Drupal 8 arrives and 99% of the message board becomes unhelpful)

Comment: Re:A fractal of bad design. (Score 1) 254

by abigsmurf (#46408389) Attached to: The New PHP
(Needle, haystack) , (haystack, needle) is something that irritates. Ensures I'm never sure of my syntax when coding.

There are a couple of annoyances outside of that which are trap lots of people learning to code in the language:

"while (fgets($file))" doesn't return false when it should (eg at the end of the file or if there's an issue with the file handler like most readline functions in other languages do. Given this will often cause the server to become completely unresponsive until the script (hopefully) times out, it seems a massive oversight.

if ($variable = 5) . A simple typo that can take hours to debug and spot and most developers fall victim to it at least once. Is a warning really too much to ask?

Comment: Too much information... (Score 5, Insightful) 482

by abigsmurf (#46400139) Attached to: Pro-Vaccination Efforts May Be Scaring Wary Parents From Shots
The more effort you put into telling people something is safe and the more visible this effort is, the more people will naturally question just why they're having to make this effort.

When you order a burger from McDonalds you probably wouldn't be too happy if worker who gives it to you said "don't worry, the chances of you having got a burger that has been spat on are tiny so it is very unlikely I spat in it! Enjoy your meal!"

Comment: Re:"some weakness" (Score 4, Informative) 465

by abigsmurf (#46366935) Attached to: MtGox Files For Bankruptcy Protection
The weakness was apparently down to the site treating a txid (transaction ID) field as a unique identifier. Turns out not only was it not actually a unique transaction identifier, it could also be spoofed easily without altering the (real) destination for the transaction. Made it trivial to make fake deposits and real withdrawals.

MTGox's fault for not understanding a spec whilst using it to move vast sums around but it probably highlights the importance of good naming practices when creating a spec.

Comment: Re:Best car overall?? (Score 1) 318

by abigsmurf (#46345165) Attached to: Consumer Reports Says Tesla Model S Is Best Overall Vehicle
Lets say you spend $5000 on services and repairs for the $30K car's life, that's $65K for fuel. How many miles is that?

A $30K performance high performance car is probably 30mpg. At $3.50 per gallon, That's 8.5miles per $. $65K would get you around 550K miles of driving.

Of course pretty much any car in existence would fall to bits long before hitting 550K but that's enough to show that you saving money is most definitely not a good reason for buying a Tesla..

Comment: Re:Pros vs Cons (Score 1) 549

by abigsmurf (#45592953) Attached to: RF Safe-Stop Shuts Down Car Engines With Radio Pulse
But if you show criminals that they can escape punishment easily by initiating a high speed chase, you'll simply encourage more people to speed away in a dangerous manner. In addition, if people think they're more likely to get away scott-free, they're more likely to commit criminal acts in the first place.

There is always a balance to be had, you can't simply say that criminals should be universally allowed to get away because you'll almost certainly cause more harm to society and danger to the public through the knock on effects of that.

Comment: Plastic bag weight (Score 2) 470

by abigsmurf (#45537471) Attached to: EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem
200 plastic bags is under a kilo of plastic, compared to the food packaging (especially for micromeals) it's negligable. In terms of carbon footprint, it's impact is tiny and barely any better than re-usable bags.
Rather than using it to raise funds, how about mandating supermarkets to use biodegradable/compostable materials instead? Better yet, make supermarkets do "litter patrol" like they do in England with McDonalds.

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman

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