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Comment: Re:Well (Score 2) 406

by adavidw (#34625274) Attached to: Military Pressuring Vendors On IPv6

Well, Steve Jobs spent at least a few years pitching macs while running NextStep on his personal ThinkPad (1998 to around the time of OS X release in 2001). Not quite the same, since NextStep in a way represented the future of the product. But still, there's no better to way to reinforce the perception that the current direction of the company is a dead end than for the CEO to not use the company's products.

Comment: Re:If it violates an amendment (Score 1) 312

by adavidw (#33407164) Attached to: Full-Body Scanners Deployed In Street-Roving Vans

I don't believe a constitutional amendment has ever been amended. But I am seriously considering going to law school to find out.

You don't need to go to law school, only high school. Crack open a history book (they still teach history in schools, right?), and read about Prohibition and its repeal (specifically the 18th and 21st amendments).

Comment: Re:PEBAAC (Score 1) 1146

by adavidw (#30000826) Attached to: Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms

I can't begin to tell what the GP post was trying to say. I will say this, however: Cars don't have emergency brakes these days. They have "parking brakes". Sure, you can try to use it in an emergency, but it's not for nothing that all references in the manuals and other documentation call it a "parking brake".

In the case of the 2004-2009 Prius, the pedal for the parking brake is hooked directly to a cable that goes straight to the rear drum brakes. That means it will work fine in an emergency, but remember, these are only the rears, and they're drums (except the touring edition). It still might work in many emergency situations, but I don't know if that's enough to stop a car that thinks you're flooring it.

Comment: Re:Not driver error? bzzt - wrong! (Score 1) 1146

by adavidw (#30000746) Attached to: Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms

The Prius is a hybrid. It can move with the electric motor without ever starting the gasoline one.

And yes, that could be done completely by the computer.

Problem is, it can't be done when the battery is physically disconnected from the electric motor. When you turn the Prius off, there's a big honkin' relay that actually cuts the supply from the traction battery to the motor. That relay doesn't get connected until the start button gets pressed with a valid key present, plus about a couple of dozen more checks. For a Prius that's actually shut off to start moving would require a cascade of failures to occur just to even get the battery reconnected to the motor. Then, once that happens, the ECU would have to shift itself out of park, which it's designed not to do unless the brake pedal is depressed. So, again, a couple of failures have to occur simultaneously for that to happen.

A much more likely scenario is that someone gets out of the car and forgets to turn the car off because the engine's already stopped. Not saying it's impossible for what the GP described to happen. It's just about a billion times more likely for the driver to screw it up. Occam's razor and all that.

Comment: Re:Broken by design. (Score 1) 505

by adavidw (#29072645) Attached to: How To Stop Businesses Storing SSNs Indefinitely?

I have actually seen this happen at least a dozen times. Basically, the insurance company's processing software sees the parent as the subscriber, then sees the patient as the dependent with birthdate xx/xx/xxxx, sees the second service for a dependent with the same birthdate, and immediately denies the second service. They never think to check the name or flag it for review or anything. If their software even checked the gender on the 2 patients, that would at least let the cases of male/female fraternal twins through.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." -- The Wizard Of Oz