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Comment: Re:Safety vs Law (Score 0) 403

by cream wobbly (#47706317) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Speed limits aren't the same as speed limits.

Let me clarify:

UK speed limits aren't the same thing as US speed limits. They have different reasons for existence. In the UK speeds are set at a reasonable level for the condition of the road. In the US, somebody counts their fingers and toes until they can't go any higher and puts the result (or something like it) on a sign. Either that or police departments say "We're not meeting our speed ticket quota" and have the limit lowered. Often new lower limits are posted after a road is improved. And that's considering US speed limits were often originally set for unmetalled farm tracks. So we have wide two-way roads with 50 mph speed limits where a narrower road would be 60 in the UK. We have urban dual carriageways with a 35 mph limit where the UK would see 50 mph. We have rural divided highways with 50 mph limits where the UK limit would be the default 70 mph. Big difference.

So absolutely, speeding in the US is normal driving, and per TFS, not speeding is the more dangerous habit.

That doesn't transfer to the UK, where speeding is antisocial arseclown behaviour.

Comment: Re:Left or Right? (Score 3, Insightful) 403

by cream wobbly (#47705979) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Closer to the point of the article, habits of US drivers do not automatically transfer to other countries. In the US it's very common for drivers to overshoot when making a turn onto a multi-lane street (e.g., driver in lane 1 of 2 turns right onto lane 3 of 3, where 1 is rightmost lane). In the UK it's bordering on the unconscionable.

But this lack of bad habits is an advantage of moving to the UK (and Europe). Also for the facts that signage and road markings are far clearer and more consistent, and vehicle roadworthiness rules are enforced. The basics can be dealt with in a wonderland of discipline and safety, and then the project can be booted back over the wall to the US team to deal with the road stupid I have to deal with daily.

Comment: Re:Left or Right? (Score 2) 403

by cream wobbly (#47705867) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Not just "left or right?", but "10 mph over or 10% + 3 mph over?". In the US, you can typically drive 10 mph over the limit without getting pulled over by police. In the UK the rule is 10% of the speed limit + 3 mph for equipment tolerances. So, if the posted limit is 25 mph, your "hard limit" is 25 + 2.5 + 3 = 30.5 mph. Likewise for 70 mph (national limit for motorways and dual carriageways), the "hard limit" is 70 + 7 + 3 = 80 mph.

Chalk it up to another case where American assumptions do not apply abroad.

Comment: Re:Saved the earth (Score 1) 54

by cream wobbly (#47624603) Attached to: Ancient Worms May Have Saved Life On Earth

Exactly, (but not completely).

Changing any one thing in the history of life on Earth, correct, means that life now wouldn't exist precisely as it does. If these worms had never evolved that behaviour, then oxygenation might not have happened, and life would have continued in a carbon dioxide-rich environment. Or some other organism or event might have adopted the role of oxygenator, and oxygenation levels might have been different, which again, would mean different evolutionary pressures would apply. Complex life might never have evolved, or it might have evolved sooner or later.

For TFS to breathlessly claim Ancient Worms May Have Saved Life On Earth is specious and demonstrates a fundamental ungrokking of the undirectedness of evolution.

Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.

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