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Comment Re:Children or not (Score 2) 200

Also - not everyone that drives fast is an ahole. And not everyone who drives the speed limit is NOT an ahole.

Agressive and inattentive drivers are the problem - slow or fast. Speed cameras and other forms of photo enforcement, however, are just safety theater that happen to make a buck or two for the camera companies.

On Arizona's ugly history with speed and red light cameras (short, short version):

Former governor Janet Napalitano signed a contract for Redflex to put up cameras (fixed and mobile) everywhere in 2008. Janet actually labeled her statewide speed camera system as a revenue source in one of her AZ budgets - but still claimed it was all about safety. Peace didn't ensue, however, and accidents didn't suddenly drop way off (they dropped, but that was ultimately proven to be because of the recession dropping the number of drivers). While some drivers noted that it was "a nicer drive" and not as crazy on the roads, other drivers just accelerated and slowed down between cameras. Angry pro-camera people started driving like self-righteous assholes - refusing to "bow" to speeders. Some of them set their cruise control to just over the speed limit to avoid tickets, while blocking all lanes ("Move over for faster drivers? WHY? JUST SLOW DOWN!"). Anti-camera and/or aggressive drivers got really pissed off and were madder and more aggressive than ever. The rest of AZ just ignored the whole thing - unless they suddenly got flashed in the "high revenue" locations where they weren't "speeding" in their minds. (Cameras were being placed in locations to maximize revenue (where 65 dropped to 55 on interstates, at the bottom of declines/hills, etc.) Soccer moms and grandparents who loved the cameras early on would suddenly turn on the system when they got a ticket they felt like was nothing more than a speed trap. The public debate on and offline turned ugly, with vandalized cameras (including an axe wielder on an interstate), monkey mask rebels ignoring cameras, freeway and local/city protests, court backlogs (years behind), dodged process servers, etc. There was even a fatal freeway shooting of a camera van operator by a really angry "patriot" (he's still in prison, AFAIK). When the CEO of Redflex wasn't bribing city councils, she was weaving tales of blood and gore on the highways if the cameras were ever turned off.

After Janet bailed on AZ in late 2008 to cash in her chips in DC, any attempts by certain GOP state legislators to get a bill on the Gov. Brewer's desk to ban photo enforcement were blocked by camera company lobbyists and a GOP state house speaker that loved photo radar. The tech was seemingly here to stay.

Then Gov. Jan Brewer - yes, the Obama finger wagger and racist-sounding SB1070, "unshackle the police to catch illegals" signer - did the right thing and refused to renew the statewide contract with Redflex - effectively pulling the plug, and turning the heat down. One group (Camerafraud) was coming close to getting a ban on the ballot as a proposition for statewide vote, but after Brewer's contract cancellation they came up about 40K signatures short (120,000 were gathered) because removing the state speed cameras seem to calm enough people down as a compromise. It never ONCE came to a full vote.

Now the state is seemingly in a ceasefire state on the issue. Most people don't care about it anymore - at least as long as the state speed cameras don't come back. At the city level, certain municipalities have stubbornly held onto them for revenue, but most AZ cities got tired of getting screwed over by Redflex and ATS contracts where they actually lost money while the camera companies made serious coin.

Amazingly, after all of that occurred, there are STILL plenty of Arizonans who believe their short-sighted, 90IQ beliefs about photo enforcement, like: "if you don't do anything wrong, you won't get a ticket," "I don't speed - so who cares?", or, "I'm tired of (expletive) drivers who (fill in the angry blank, usually something they don't do). Can you get even with that dude that cut me off last week for me, photo radar?" Which of these groups fit you, NaChO?

Comment Re:Children or not (Score 1) 200

You're trolling, and I'll bite. Though there are cases where speeds have been calculated incorrectly, they're usually correct.

They have also, however, been just as efficient at exposing the problems with hard speed limits. Sometimes 45 is too fast; other times it's too slow - and machines can't (yet) calculate that. Many speed limits are set due to politics/fearmongering, environmental views, and revenue streams - not science/facts. It's a mini-miracle that we aren't still under the shackles of the 55 MPH national speed limit. (I could see Pres. Obama vetoing any legislation to repeal it if he'd been in office at the time, citing the environment and openly mocking anyone who couldn't see his point of view - while never driving a single mile between far-distant cities in the Western US on wide open roads in desolate areas.)

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 96

"Awesome - ok... Does it allow addons?" A: No

"Does it block ads?" A: No

"Does it sync?" A: Well, kind of - if you use iCloud.

"I don't want a Safari clone with a Firefox branded UI. Shoot..."

I'll try it, but it sounds like it'll be in vain. I've used Mozilla and then Firefox since the dark Netscape 4.x days... and even knowing this was the likely end result, this is still probably the most disappointed I've been about Firefox during that decades-long run. I do not want to switch to "Google Owns You" Chrome, and Safari sucks.

Comment Re:Please don't bring it back (Score 4, Interesting) 83

Watching new MST3K episodes wouldn't be nostalgia. And it's not about charm or selling out for another payout. It'd just be a show making jokes about bad movies - and that's still funny, even today in our Internet-first world.

Other thoughts:

* The only thing that really hurts old MST episodes is that some of their humor was pop culture based - especially old TV shows and classic movies. A lot of the jokes go over younger people's heads because they haven't seen Gilligan's Island, Mary Poppins, The Brady Bunch, etc. New episodes would probably be more relevant.

* Joel should try and get Mike Nelson to help with writing. Regardless of whomever any MST3K fan was the funnier guy onscreen, nobody can argue that Mike Nelson was a key writer that drove the show - and that he carried the show on his shoulders alone for the last three seasons after Trace B. (the original voice of Crow T. Robot) left. Without Mike, it just won't have the same charm.

Comment Re:theodp (Score 1) 152

I wanted to be a teacher, teaching music, math, or history - and maybe be an assistant coach for the sports I played. I was talked out of it, however, by a teacher because of the money. The heartbreak you go through over money, he said, just isn't worth it.

Here in Arizona, my own party (GOP) refuses to raise any revenue from new taxes statewide (they've been kicking Janet Napalitano's legacy in the nuts for almost a decade now). As a result, various cities have to pass their own bonds - creating a growing haves/havenots system within our cities. And even the "haves" are asking parents for hundreds of extra dollars in "fees" for everything from sports to textbook help. Starting teachers are paid like janitors... it's a joke.

Bottom line: Unless you want to have both spouses work for sure and still never be even close to comfortable, only staying with a public job for a (possible) future pension, avoid the teaching profession.

Comment Re:Highest Profit (Score 1) 712

Yes, in the real world some cops come off as bullies, and they should be punished or fired when caught doing it.

That has nothing to do with this case, however. The cops didn't even have time to act like a bully before the shooting occurred.

5'7" hooded suspect waving gun at people - making him sound crazy. You pull up hard and tell the suspect to show you his hands. Instead, the suspect pulls out the gun you've been warned he has on him - and unlike the observer who'd been watching the suspect for several minutes, you have a split second to look at the all-black, semi-auto looking gun.

That has ZERO to do with bully cops. And I would bet you could count on one hand the number of cops in the entire state of Ohio that wouldn't have immediately shot and killed that kid in the same circumstances.

Comment The side effect will hit regular drivers (Score 1) 203

As more companies adopt this "we cover it" guarantee, they're going to start having more "costs" dealing with human drivers. Accidents, time/speed inefficiencies (vs. following the letter of the law), etc.

As a result, they'll start pushing the driverless cars harder. For those they can't convince with the carrot of incentives to make the switch, they'll eventually pull out the stick of passing the costs to those human drivers through various lobbying channels - forcing them to deal with higher insurance premiums, more tracking technology, tiered registration costs for cars, etc.

Corporations with any clout always try to cut their costs - one way or another.

Comment Re:It's not what Google wants.... (Score 1) 423

I don't know what consumers you're talking about, but the average "consumer" of a car - the middle class Joe - could care less about the info described. Most of the diagnostic data (temps, etc.) is already available via ODBII or the current dash display. The driving data itself sounds like everything you do to control your car - pedal positions, speed, etc. Why does Google need all that to provide a better experience? Do they want to stream "I Can't Drive 55" or radar detector ads to accurately targeted customers? Google doesn't want to provide the data to the end user. They want to collect the data and monetize it, whether it's via their own research or selling the data to 3rd parties.

Comment Well.. that's a little over the top (Score 1) 140

Does this remind anyone else of the Wall-E chairs? Maybe this is BnL's first prototype?

What happened to down time, to just relax and ponder things quietly? I miss down time, like the quiet before movies with boring classical music and still ads on the the screen. I miss the timeouts at sporting events that didn't have every second filled with shiny screen and blaring music. I miss conversations in rooms where over half of the occupants in a room are not holding a screen in front of them. The simple things in life are apparently too simple, I guess.

Comment End of all anonymity and privacy (Score 2) 79

How could this be done - some form of meta-tagging EVERYTHING in the digital realm with some kind of signature - without having some master database to reference it by? What could possibly go wrong with a universal, non-anonymous Big Brother - I mean, Big Data - system like that?

The only positive to come out of a system like this would be for making it more valuable for the data owners as a resellable commodity.

Comment That's easy (Score 2) 181

If you think you're attractive, create an image-reading algorithm that picks girls that looks like yourself (facial features, shape, etc.)


Look at successful, power couples in the entertainment business sometime (especially athletes) and see if you can spot the narcissistic pattern...

If you don't think you're attractive, I guess you can put a NOT in front of the algorithm...

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