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Comment Re:I imagine it will stay (Score 1) 267

You're right, of course, but it's very limited in scope.
I actually hadn't thought of it, but now that you mention it, I still don't think it matters in terms of noise prevention.
Most vehicles are bought (I think/guess/believe) without giving a second thought (iaw shit) about the noise they cause.
They're bought because of price / space / availability / whatever. If that behaviour stays the same and cars overall get more quiet, there will be less noise. That's cool with me.
People who buy Harleys will continue to do so. Those machines are bought, as you wrote, because of their image (getting bitches all wet). They are cool, great, fantastic and they will get bought. AFAIK, Porsche invested quite some money to *keep* the sound of the 911 the way it was when they switched from air cooling (VW Beetle! proud former owner of a 1302 speaking) to water cooling (which is far more efficient) in the second half of the nineties.
If the majority of cars will be less noisy, I shall be pleased.

Comment Re:I imagine it will stay (Score 1) 267

The same argument was made every time a new generation of cars became more quiet than the previous one.
I do not fear that regulations will force cars to be louder than necessary, at least not for long.
Reason: People will get used to and appreciate quiet cars. Politicians will do so as well. And even if cars are forced to produce some noise - which I don't think will last for a long time - a more or less even humming is far more tolerable (at least to me) than the ugly whining of engines revving up and down and the tank-like grunting of broken exhaust pipes. YMMV (SCNR).
And after all, you still have tire noise, that's unlikely to go away anytime soon.
So I agree with GP: It's far easier to add noise to a silent car than to silence a noisy car. At least I will not miss the noise and I do not think that the blind people you mentioned will either.

Goodbye, California? Tim Draper Proposes a 6-Way Split 489

Daniel_Stuckey writes that venture capitalist Tim Draper has mooted a plan "to split California into six separate states, he told Tech Crunch, with Silicon Valley emerging as the richest and most powerful of all. The mockery is already pouring in. Of course a rich tech guru wants Silicon Valley to get its own government, so it can be freed from the dusty laws and regulations of California 1.0. Of course a deep undercurrent of self-aggrandizing narcissism runs through the proposal — only one other state-to-be gets an actual name, (inexplicably, 'Jefferson') and the rest are lazily affixed with topographical descriptors: West, South, Central, and North California...Yes, in shaping his doctrine, Draper has conjured the perfect blend of Seasteading's offshore tech nirvana lawlessness, boilerplate Tea Party antiestablishmentarianism, and good ol' secessionist chutzpah."

Comment Re: If it makes you sleep well at night.... (Score 1) 375

The inconsistent criteria are really rather obnoxious, I agree. Some examples that cought my eye while looking at the map and data:
I think that 976 for Austria is correct, as that's the first mention of Ostarrichi, although not as independent country. For Hungary as well, the dates are the ones that should be taken into account, as this was the time when the magyars moved into the territory of what is now Hungary.
To give 1871 as "birthdate" for Germany is of course ridiculous, that should be 843 as in the case of France.
Therefore, if we already use dates like 976 for Austria, we can only stare in disbelief at the fact that Croatia should be only 22 years old and Serbia only 7.
Turkey will certainly be interested why only the modern state after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the following war with Greece has been given credit. I think we can safely assume at least 1453 (conquest of Constantinople), or even an older date, if we take into account that most of Anatolia had been undeer turkish rule far before that.
At last, not to get too eurocentric (I'm austrian, so Europe's what I'm most familiar with), Rwanda was a kingdom (or several closely related kingdoms) with a distinct culture and language long before becoming a (german, then belgian) colony and gaining independence in 1962.

Comment Re:Uh, duh? (Score 2) 314

Also, we should think again about whether we really need that round thingie, the wheel.
Sure, it's really useful, but considering how much harm can be wrought with it... better leave it uninvented.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.