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Comment: I agree: auctioning is the wrong approach (Score 3, Interesting) 66

by cjonslashdot (#48542083) Attached to: A Case Against Further Government Spectrum Auctions
I agree. Auctioning creates a "pay to play" system. Spectrum is a fixed resource - it should be allocated based on social policy - not based on who can pay the most. And when someone pays for it, they have every right to feel that they "own" it - and that undermines the government's ability to manage it: to adjust rules as situations change over time. Auctioning a fixed public resource is nothing less than prostitution of our public assets.

Comment: What a horror! (Score 1) 196

I can't wait: We will all be surrounded by a sea of devices, all beta quality - as is the norm today - such that every single day will involve struggle with 5% of the devices not doing what they are supposed to do; and all will require constant software updates; and all will have security vulnerabilities. Nice. Please count me out!

Comment: Re:So does scratching your nose (Score 1) 208

by cjonslashdot (#48086925) Attached to: Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers
Yes, tuning the radio is very distracting. In fact, cars that pop up alerts are very dangerous IMO. And the worst designs are those that have modal displays: e.g., when the radio shows either the time or the station and you have to toggle to see one or the other - that takes your eyes off the road. One thing is for sure: dialing a phone is _very_ distracting - as much as texting. I agree with you that talking on the phone is not a great idea in general. I am just not ready to completely eliminate it, because I think that sometimes it is a rational risk if one compensates by being extra careful. But again, people in general do not have the best judgment about these things, so perhaps it should be banned. I personally am really looking forward to driverless cars!

Comment: Re:So does scratching your nose (Score 1) 208

by cjonslashdot (#48084411) Attached to: Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers
I am not like those people who talk on their phone all the time, including when they are picking up their kids. I am on my cellphone rarely, but when I do use it, it is really beneficial, and I am very careful. I tend to agree with you that many people are not so careful and they use it too much behind the wheel. In the morning I see so many people chatting on their phones while driving. I think that since their risky driving puts us all at risk, it might be better to limit cellphone use while driving, but it is a shame, because it penalizes those who are very careful.

Comment: Re:So does scratching your nose (Score 1) 208

by cjonslashdot (#48083569) Attached to: Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers
So that is a judgment - an exercise of intelligence. You are making a judgment that turning the radio knob will not put you in danger. Presumably you do it at a moment when you have several car lengths in front of you. Also, have you ever arrived at a destination and then realized that you don't remember anything about driving there? Perhaps you were lost in thought the whole time...

Comment: Re:So does scratching your nose (Score 1) 208

by cjonslashdot (#48083179) Attached to: Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers
Life is not about eliminating all risk. It is about managing risk in an intelligent manner. Driving is by itself very dangerous, so if we undertake the minimize risk, we should not drive at all. My point above was that it is very possible to intelligently and carefully use a cellphone and drive - just as it is possible to listen to the radio and drive safely. I am sure that studies would show that radios cause distraction as well. That is not saying that everyone will use a cellphone safely - on that I certainly agree!

Comment: So does scratching your nose (Score 2) 208

by cjonslashdot (#48082737) Attached to: Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers
And I would rather be a tiny bit distracted, at a safe moment when I make sure that I have plenty of car lengths in front of me, than be lost, wandering around trying to find my way. The maps application is one of the best driving innovations every. And Siri is fantastic, in that you don't have to fiddle with an address book on your car's console - you just say, "Call Joe". To me, it _enhances_ safety. And for those who think that I should not talk and drive, then remember the times that you were running late, and felt the need to rush, whereas by calling someone and saying you are a little bit late, you remove the pressure and you can slow down.

Comment: Re:Ain't no body got time for that (Score 1) 606

by cjonslashdot (#46341687) Attached to: 'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

I agree.

I commuted into Washington DC for a year and it was hell. The noise, and just walking on the sidewalk was stressful, with the traffic and congestion and all the drivers in a horrible mood because of it. And when using the metro (subway), I would have to deal with sleet and snow and rain and walking long distances from the metro stop to my destination, avoiding cars and buses and horrible weather, usually with the stress of being on the verge of being late because commuting took such a large chunk of my day.

Today I have a really nice house on a lake in a suburb. I could not have a home like this in a city - it would cost tens of millions of dollars. I can walk to the store if I choose (or kayak there), as well as kayak on the lake for exercise (which I do several times a week), and bicycle on a nearby path with no cars and lots of quiet and beautiful scenery. And nowadays I have a very pleasant 20 minute commute to my job in a suburban office - on the ground floor with windows and my car parked right outside instead of me tucked away up in some high rise prison.

Why anyone would want to live or work in a city mystifies me.

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