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Comment: Re:Wooden bikes are cool (Score 1) 71

by SuperBanana (#48414931) Attached to: Collin Graver and his Wooden Bicycle (Video)

"They're much like normal biles otherwise and I presume exactly as comfortable."

Comfort comes almost entirely from the tire size and pressure relative to rider weight and road conditions. The frame is largely irrelevant, at least for anything made in the last few decades by any half-competent company.

"Getting the bearings and power transmission were apparently the harddest bits."

Getting alignment on these items is the hardest bit. Bicycles require an incredible degree of proper alignment of a couple of key components in order for things to work right, mostly shifting, but also handling-wise.

Comment: Irrelevant (Score 1) 71

by SuperBanana (#48414919) Attached to: Collin Graver and his Wooden Bicycle (Video)

"I'd guess that yet another disadvantage of a wooden bicycle, at least when sharing the road with motor vehicles, is that it's impossible to trigger a green traffic signal without enough metal surface to disturb the flux in the induction loop beneath the approach to the intersection."

1)Inductive loop sensors are much better than they used to be, and many can detect aluminum bike frames, metal in the wheels (almost all spokes are metal - carbon fiber spokes are very rare; many rims are still aluminum), or the metal in the drivetrain (chain, cables, derailleurs.)

2)A large percentage of bicycle frames are made from carbon fiber; even many wheels these days. No different from wood.

3)Many traffic lights now use camera-bases systems. They're cheaper and easier to set up/maintain, and can quantify the number of vehicles for better decisions regarding prioritization, etc. I think some can detect emergency vehicles, provide traffic statistics, and record video if there's a crash.

Some, but not all states, allow cyclists to go through a light if it doesn't change for them after X minutes. Idaho allows cyclists to treat red lights as stop signs, a law groups are trying to get passed here.

Comment: Boneshakers did not have pneumatic tires (Score 1) 71

by SuperBanana (#48414839) Attached to: Collin Graver and his Wooden Bicycle (Video)

They were boneshakers because they didn't have pneumatic tires. This is not true of a modern bicycle, and we also have far more understanding of mechanical systems and materials, including wood, now.

It is a widely perpetuated myth, mostly by bicycle frame makers who are attempting to get you to spend gobs of money on special designs, frame materials, etc that are "vertically stiff and horizontally compliant" (this phrase is now such marketing cliche it's mocked a lot)...that road bicycle suspension happens in the frame. It doesn't/shouldn't. It happens almost entirely in the tire/tube; when you go over a bump, the rest of the tube+tire stretches slightly to absorb the impact, and then contracts back. Some suspension also happens in the wheel; a wheel is quite strong in part because the spokes and rim both have some give to them.

Just as with cars, the most effective suspension is the one that has the least unsprung weight. So for example, high performance cars often have suspension and brake components made out of high-strength-for-weight materials, but in general, car manufacturers try to keep the weight of the suspension down.

On a bicycle with a properly sized and inflated tire for the rider's weight and road conditions, there is very little unsprung mass

Comment: Why are you a corporate shill? (Score 5, Interesting) 108

by SuperBanana (#48412401) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Malcolm Gladwell a Question

http://shameproject.com/report...

Why did you, after college, attend the National Journalism Center, a corporate-funded program created to counter the mediaâ(TM)s alleged âoeanti-business biasâ?

Why, as someone who is half-Jamaican, have you repeatedly associated yourself (and apparently continue to do so) with the white supremacist organization EPPC, which fights activists for economic justice?

Why did you write for American Spectator, which churned out anti-Clinton conspiracy theories?

Why did you recycle tobacco industry propaganda and quote lobbyists for Washington Post articles you "wrote"? Why did Phillip Morris consider you, according to their internal documents, to be a "friend" who could be counted on for pro-tobacco-industry stories?

Why did you clearly promote drugs for treating ADHD in kids, in which you heavily quoted researchers who were paid heavily by the pharma industry?

Why did you cite a pharma-industry cited study and defend the industry when it was attacked for high drug costs?

Why did you blame the victims in the Enron collapse, defending executives who committed gross fraud?

Comment: Re:Jack of all trades (Score 1) 129

by PCM2 (#48330907) Attached to: Amazon's Echo: a $200, Multi-Function, Audio-Centric Device

Masters of only one (Let Kindle Slide). Online Shopping. I simply do not understand all of these devices that Amazon is trying to pimp.

I think you do. You just don't realize that these are tools for online shopping. Buy a Kindle, get all of your ebooks from Amazon because it doesn't support Epub, which is what all of the other online bookstores are using. Buy a Fire or a Kindle HD, get your apps and your movies and your music from Amazon because even though it's Android, it doesn't come with Google Play. Amazon sells a lot of real-world things, but if people are buying digital things now then Amazon wants to make sure it sells a lot of those, too.

Comment: Re:Algorithms Can Be Patented (Score 5, Insightful) 164

by PCM2 (#48296781) Attached to: Disney Patents a Piracy Free Search Engine

If you don't know how it works, it's only because you haven't bothered to look it up.

Not exactly. You only know how PageRank worked at the very beginning, when it was patented. That is far from "the" Google search algorithm these days. It remains one of the most important ones, and possibly one that's fundamental to how Google's whole search engine works, but they have many, many other algorithms that govern search results today. Most of these are not patented, mainly for the reasons mentioned earlier: If Google patented them, it would have to disclose how they work. Instead, they maintain them as trade secrets, like the formula for Coca-Cola.

In Disney's case, I think it's not really interested in competing with Google. It would much rather Google, Bing, etc look at its patent, say "OK, I can do that if it will get Disney off my back" and implement the patent for little-to-no royalty fees.

Comment: Re:And people who write software (Score 1) 152

by PCM2 (#48266123) Attached to: Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

The copyright for a movie character belongs to the production team that created that character, rather than an actor who simply portrayed them in one or more films. Actors own the right to their own image, but when they play a character they are portraying an image that the production company owns - presumably this is covered in their contracts. They can't simply walk down to the mall and hold out a hat dressed as Captain Jack, even if they played that role once.

Whatever you're describing, it has nothing to do with copyright.

Comment: Re:what a showboat (Score 2) 152

by PCM2 (#48266099) Attached to: Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

What is really sad if the inventor of Wolverine or any of the original characters were to draw and post them online to sell, perhaps in retirement for extra cash they'd be sued into bankruptcy.

Totally false. I'm not sure there's a single pro who won't take commissions. Many publish and sell sketchbooks full of drawings of characters owned by companies; nothing happens. If they were to try to sell actually comics stories featuring the companies' characters, that would probably get noticed very quickly, but just drawing characters has never been considered a big deal.

Comment: projectiles are a reasonable concern (Score 1) 406

by SuperBanana (#48141153) Attached to: Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

I do high performance driver education events, and you're required to empty the car of everything not bolted down to it - everything comes out and goes into a box that you leave in the pits. Video cameras have to be tethered (because tripod mounts in traditional video camcorders are designed to break off if they're stressed too much.)

Anything not bolted down can become a projectile.

Lot of people don't think about this with their cars, but at least then, you're by and large only placing yourself, and a limited number of passengers who chose to ride with you, at risk.

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