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Comment: Re:Signals, zoning, and subsidizing transit (Score 1) 825

by SydShamino (#49748465) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Someone else replied already and explained this, though that seems to have attracted a troll of some sort.

Basically, the idea is that people on bikes have better awareness of road conditions as they should be traveling cautiously at lower speeds and aware of their surroundings more than a vehicle driver would be. They can therefore approach an intersection with a stop sign the same way a driver in a car would a yield sign:
1. Slow down, checking for traffic in all other directions
2. If there's no other traffic, proceed without coming to a complete stop

Moreover, it can actually be more dangerous for a bike rider to come to a complete stop. It is much slower for a bike to accelerate from a complete stop than from a slow yield. That puts the bike rider in the intersection for longer, making it more likely that they'll be hit by someone speeding along in another direction, who was out of sight when the biker started. A car in this situation can gun it; a bike rider in a low gear just gets hit.

Next, it's safer on bike riders to take back roads than it is major arteries. In my area, bikers can take the main road with all its traffic and traffic lights, or they can take one of the collector streets in my neighborhood. If they take the main road, they might not have to stop as much, but they are more likely to be hurt in an accident. The neighborhood collector has a lot of stop signs, but if they can treat those as yields then they can take it also without stopping much and be safer due to less overall traffic and slower car speeds.

Finally, not every biker is in tip-top shape. Letting them bike without having to restart from a complete stop as often makes it easier on the biker, which keeps them biking, which is healthier for them and might take a car off the road. For people who don't give a damn about biker safety, but hate sitting in traffic, this benefit is for you.

Comment: Re:9.81 m/s^2 at sea level (Score 1) 94

9.81 m/s^2 at sea level is how I was taught.
Anything above sea level is less and below is more.

This is incorrect.

If you are standing at sea level in a cave deep inside a mountain, acceleration will be less than 9.81 m/s^2. That's the point of the article. The mountain above you is pushing down into the mantle, displacing denser mantle material, so between you and the core is less mantle than if you were on a boat in the sea.

Comment: Re:Signals, zoning, and subsidizing transit (Score 2) 825

by SydShamino (#49736213) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

That depends on 1. signal sets that can detect bicycles rather than leaving them at a dead red,

They need to rewrite the law to allow bikers to treat stop signs and yields, and to treat stop lights as stop signs.

Of course that doesn't work at a busy intersection where the bike cannot safely cross without a green light, but it's a good start to making biking more efficient for bikers.

Comment: Re:Most places still face monopolies or duopolies (Score 1) 289

by SydShamino (#49723843) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

In central Austin, I have AT&T U-Verse, Time Warner, and Grande. Eventually Google will get to my neighborhood but they're taking their sweet time about it.

I assume by "cable network provider" you mean anyone who can provide wired broadband and television. There's no reason to distinguish whether they were originally a television or telephone provider as that is now irrelevant except perhaps in the style of their bundling. You probably wanted to exclude the satellite television providers Dish Network and Direct TV and high-latency broadband provider DishNet, all of which I and most others in the U.S. also can access, as the latency unambiguously relegates the internet service to second-class.

Comment: Re:Brand? (Score 2) 227

For a more reliable product, the door's interlock would first signal the microprocessor to shut things down normally, but then manually cut power if the processor doesn't respond. For similar behavior on high voltage products (for example), the hardware has like 60 ms or so to become safe after the interlock opens. For a product I worked on recently, we budgeted around 1/3rd of that for the standard digital system to operate and bring things down cleanly, and only if it didn't would the analog circuit kick in and pull the rail down hard. (The analog circuit could damage the board by discharging capacitors too fast, but if digital is dead that's what we had to do to protect the users.)

Comment: Re:FTYF, Submitter (Score 4, Interesting) 532

by SydShamino (#49630151) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

And God forbid you should need surgery and the surgeon brings in his "out of network" business partner to consult in the surgery and you get hit with an uncovered four or five figure bill from them, too.

We had something similar happen. The lead surgeon for a scheduled surgery never told us that he would need to bring in a second doctor, and of course his partner wasn't on our network. With no negotiated discount on service rates, his partner was paid more by insurance company (at 70% "out of network" payment on the full charge) than he was (at my 90% in network rate, after the massive "negotiated" discount). This was for a multi-hour invasive procedure where the book rates for the primary and secondary doctors were in the $40-50k range each.

Supposedly we owed the 30% coinsurance for the partner ... but it's been five years now and he never sent a bill. I only know about this at all because of the insurance statements. I think they aren't going after us as I have a better fraud claim against them. (We confirmed in writing that the primary doctor was on our insurance prior to the surgery. I could argue that he should have mentioned that his partner wasn't. We never once met or even saw the partner though maybe he did show up during the surgery itself when no one was awake to notice.)

Comment: Re:Try again... 4? (Score 2, Informative) 226

by SydShamino (#49594775) Attached to: Grooveshark Shuts Down

The definition of stealing does not require tangible property, it just involves depriving the owner of that property.

If you take a trade secret from someone and share it with the world, you have stolen the trade secret, because, while the owner might still have the information, they have been deprived of a secret that was not yours to share. Plagiarism too is a form of stealing, for you are depriving the author of a work from their name rights. (And yes, while not honored in the U.S. outside the bounds of copyright, I agree with the moral rights of authorship.)

Copying a song does not deprive the owner of the source copy nor the author of the original work of anything, hence it is not stealing. It's not even a crime morally. In the U.S., Congress has decided to sometimes make this a civil crime called copyright infringement, because the Constitution allows them to do so if they think it will encourage more work from those authors. Something it's not a crime at all, like for older works or government publications.

In other words, I agree with your sentiment, but don't wrap the definitions of theft and copyright infringement up in the terms of tangible property. Intangible things can be stolen, too. Focus on how it deprives the author of something they previously possessed.

Comment: Re:This riot started with a press release (Score 5, Insightful) 141

by SydShamino (#49589523) Attached to: Can Riots Be Predicted By Social Media?

Most of us are willing to create civil unrest about something, at least in theory. That's why you have all those guns, right? It just has to be bad enough that you see civil unrest as the only available option.

For emotional teenager minds, police in riot gear surrounding you and presumably yelling at you to disperse while simultaneously preventing you from leaving might be that trigger. Sure the first guy who threw a rock was probably an asshole who should have been expelled for something else months ago, but others might join in who would have also been perfectly happy to just get on a bus and go home if they had been allowed to two hours earlier when school let out.

That's where the police failed - by creating a situation where immature people feel rioting is their only option, when they just as easily could have tackled the rumors of a riot by trying to disperse the kids into the city and away from trouble instead.

In other words, police showing up in full riot gear and marching in unison down the street at you is an incentive to start a riot. Honestly I'm surprised the libertarian gun-loving wing of Slashdot isn't rising up to support people "resisting the police state".

Comment: Why I refused to sign up (Score 5, Insightful) 359

by SydShamino (#49557795) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

Not that it matters any more, but if you work for Google and wonder why ignored all those invites, it's because you, Google, insisted I change how I share my use of your products as a condition of joining Google+.

Before Google+, I used a variety of your products - blogspot, youtube, search. You know that the same person was using all these services - but the world in general doesn't, and most importantly, none of them were tied to my real name.

Then, to join Google+, you wanted me to "convert" my account, and attach my name to everything.* I was not interested in that, so I diligently stayed away. For Facebook, on the other hand, I knew going in that it would use my real name. (I still waited as long as possible and only signed up to avoid becoming a hermit.) Since I knew my name would be attached from the start, the way in which I share has always been somewhat sanitized.

Because you, Google, are so many things, you can't be a real-name social network, at least if you insist that I retroactively claim ownership over everything else. Sorry.

* Even if this isn't true, this is what I got from all of the media coverage, discussion, and your own promotion. If I understood this all wrong and could have keep using the other services separately and anonymously, then it's your fault for advertising Google+ so badly. That's sort of sad, given that advertising is your business.**

** IIRC they did change this eventually, but by then Google+ was already an obvious failure and it wasn't worth creating an account.

Comment: Re:Dubious (Score 1) 686

by SydShamino (#49538803) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

This was easier to understand when I realized that each generation gets two names, one applied when they're kids and one later that sticks. When I was a kid, I remember my generation being called the "Baby Bust" generation or other similar names, as we followed the Baby Boomers. It was only when we were starting to come of age did the term "Generation X" become coined and retroactively applied to us. Then someone decided to use "Gen Y" for our kids, and it took them starting to come of age for the better term "Millenials" to come along.

I'm sure the Baby Boomers were referred to by some other name when they were young - the Postwar Generation or something - just like the WWII "Greatest Generation" certainly didn't have that name until they were grown up.

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.