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Comment Re:Might want to read the fine print... (Score 2) 69

This is fine - they're not pretending those impacts don't happen, they are just not what they're studying. They are asking "What does the fallout do to people some distance from the accident?"

The exposure people get early in the accident and very close to the reactors depends hugely on the nature of the accident. At Chernobyl, there were many firefighters within meters of an exposed critical core, resulting in a large toll from acute radiation sickness. At Fukushima, the cores ceased to be critical seconds after the quake and tens of minutes before the tsunami, and radiation was only released days later, so there was no acute radiation sickness.

By contrast, the effect of the fallout is much less dependent on the nature of the accident, just on how much radioactive material was released*. It can sensibly be studied without specifying details of how the accident happened.

* There is some dependence: the relative quantity of short lived isotopes such as Iodine-131 in the fallout depends somewhat on how long the radioactive material was contained prior to release.

Comment Re:Give me a choice (Score 1) 61

I wish I could request paper records. Some old systems are better than the replacement.

Better yet, let's use stone tablets so that it's harder for thieves to steal more than a few at a time. Paper is too easy to slip under a coat or tunic. And rats & moths eat it.

Never once was Fred Flintstone hacked.

Comment Put your money where your mouth is (Score 1) 160

Conservatives should purchase beach-front property if they are so confident in hoaxing. Some is already selling at a discount due to climate change risk. The prices would go back up after the Great Hoax is fully revealed by the alert and detail-oriented Fox reporters.

Comment Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 349

You don't need lossless audio in a car; there's no way you can actually hear the difference, because the listening environment in a car (any car) is lousy: even parked in your garage the interior is too complex. On the road, road noise (even in a high-end luxury car) will overwhelm any tiny difference you might be able to hear. And I seriously doubt you can actually tell the difference between lossless and a high bitrate Ogg in a blind test.

As for real handbrakes, my new Mazda3 has one. Of course, it's a sport compact, not a luxury car, so it aims at a different market. But it manages to have loads of tech features while still having a real handbrake.

Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 349

Singapore is not comparable, it's only a city. You'd need to compare it to, say, NYC, which itself has excellent public transit.

Australia does not have good public transit. Try taking public transit between any two cities there. Within cities, sure, but we have that here in the US too: NYC, Chicago, DC, Boston, etc. all have generally good public transit, usually with subways. Getting between cities is another matter. In Europe, they have excellent rail all through the continent. In the US, we have mediocre rail in the northeast corridor and that's about it (there's very expensive and very slow rail between select other destinations).

I've never heard of China being all that great for nationwide infrastructure either. They're trying though, with some efforts at bullet trains, but currently it's just one or two select routes.

Comment Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 349

It depends on the "gee-whiz" toy(s). Some of them are more useful than others, and more valuable to me than others. One "toy" might not be worth getting a new car or paying a pile of cash for it to be added as a factory option, but a whole slew of them all put together in one nicely-bundled package might.

I forgot the other big reason to favor new cars these days: fuel economy. Compared to cars made 10 years ago, today's newest models have fantastic fuel economy (relatively speaking of course), especially considering how much they weigh (because of safety features and crashworthy construction) and how much power they produce. A new car probably gets 20-30% better fuel economy than a similar model from 10 years ago. The biggest advance is probably GDI (gasoline direct injection), but a bunch of other improvements have helped too: electric power steering, aerodynamic improvements, much better automatic transmissions, etc.

Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 349

I can't imagine sports scores being useful either. What a waste of time.

The ski report thing sounds just plain ridiculous. I like skiing, but I don't plan a ski vacation from my car; I'm going to research that stuff from home.

Movie listings could be useful (maybe you're in town and you and your date get the urge to see a movie), but the problem there is that you can just look that stuff up on your phone using Flixster or some similar app, for free. And of course, the same goes for sports scores and ski reports.

Comment That would be penny wise and pound foolish (Score 4, Insightful) 160

If this is actually a credible report, then the U.S. government needs to stop funding the rebuilding/construction of areas that are CURRENTLY under sea level like New Orleans and the dikes and berms around it. No more federal funds of any kind for regions currently under water!

By that logic we should just write off large swathes of the Netherlands. Dykes and berms work just fine, and we have the engineering means to keep portions of land we consider valuable dry even if the waters rise 10 or 20 feet. New Orleans would fit in this category in my opinion. It is a unique part of American heritage and a cultural gem (one of not-so-many the US possesses), well worth the investment of Federal dollars to keep around.

Not to mention that it is by far less expensive to retain land by shoring up or building new dykes, than it is to reclaim land already submerged. Not as cheap as ditching it of course, but in places where it is worthwhile (New York City, Hoboken, New Orleans, Holland, and various other places) it is much smarter to keep existing places dry than leave them to be inundated and then realize our mistake later and either lose them forever, or pay even more to reclaim them.

Comment Re:Sure it's expensive (Score 1) 159

Have you never been around a cat? Cats don't ever leave their poop out in the open, unless they're senile. It's instinctive for them to bury it. It pisses off some people with gardens (they'll bury their poop in the garden because the soil is loose), but you never have to worry about stepping on cat turds on sidewalks or in the lawn.

Comment Re:Car makers LOVE dashboards that go obsolete fas (Score 1) 349

What do you suppose the resale value of a car is that is 3 years old, has less than 40,000 miles on it, but can't run the latest dashboard operating systems or applications?

Very, very high. Have you not looked recently at the values of used cars? They're holding their value better than ever; there's lots of cars for sale with 100k miles on them at pretty significant prices, and they look like they've been barely driven. The crappy economy is partially driving this too; people are economizing, so that's pushing the cost of used stuff up.

Comment Re: It's not for them (Score 1) 349

You're a moron if you really think you can see through a metal trunk to see your neighbor's kid (or perhaps an animal) behind you. Thousands of kids get run over every year; that's why rear-view cameras are mandatory on all new cars starting in 2018.

You sound just like the stupid old codgers who thought that turn signals weren't necessary.

Comment Re:What I want (Score 1) 349

Hey, I'm sure there is a great reason why the HVAC controls need to be integrated into the radio and have components of the system put in like tetris blocks all under the dash. I'm guessing it has to do with the $2000 technology package that adds the value of a $200 double din radio.

My new car's technology package cost more like $3k, but the HVAC controls are all self-contained, and are not part of the infotainment system at all. The $3k was for stuff like radar cruise control; the infotainment system is standard.

Real Programs don't use shared text. Otherwise, how can they use functions for scratch space after they are finished calling them?