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Comment: Are you joking? (Score 1) 579

by dacaldar (#47377797) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature
First of all, anyone who didn't realize that drivers will make use of this information, is not worthy to be working on, or studying, this project.

Secondly, this information is USEFUL to drivers and should be INTENTIONALLY given to them. I personally slow down for a lot more intersections than I used to because I can see in advance that I won't be able to make it. Yes, in a minority of situations, I speed up , so that I get through the intersection rather than miss it by a second or two, but I don't do this at the expense of safety, why would I? Oh right, I forgot, many drivers do not have a clue as to how to pay attention to all aspects of their on-road environment, but we let them drive anyway because driving is important to North American society on the whole.

The solution is not to remove information from competent drivers. Remove the incompetent drivers!

P.S. It also wouldn't kill cities to have better light timing (I'm looking at you, @citywaterloo) so that drivers don't feel so frustrated at being constantly robbed of time and momentum for poor reasons, and then maybe you'd have fewer people making bad judgement calls and choosing to race a light counter when they are too far back to safely do so.

Comment: Re:Hacked? (Score 1) 378

I used to rejoice at stuff like this - like when you could get more than one chocolate bar from a vending machine because of the way they were stacked.

But in my older years I have got to wondering about the ethics of it. You wouldn't steal a pop or a chocolate bar from a convenience store, even if you were 100% sure there were no video cameras, no other customers or cops around, and you saw the only employee walk into a bathroom at the far end of the store and leave you completely unattended (and heard him doing something nasty that would surely take a long time).

So when it came to the chocolate bars, fine, I could rationalize that if I didn't take the free one that came out (maybe after an extra hip-check to the side of the machine), the next person would. But for the more obvious case of mashing buttons to intentionally get a free one, how is it different than stealing?

(BTW, I don't think I'm better than you, I've done this too - just re-visiting it mentally now)

For some reason, for myself and many others, if something is on the honour system, we would never steal from it, but the more defenses people try to put up to prevent me from getting something free, the more I want to circumvent those defenses and take something for free anyway.... it's very weird.

Comment: Re:Overly Paranoid (Score 1) 245

by dacaldar (#46900513) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Back Up Physical Data?
Don't you think it's smart (evil-smart)?
Thought experiment:

If you break a window on a random house, you have the following problems:
-Someone could be home (you want to steal stuff, not a fight)
-Neighbours could hear the glass shatter and investigate or call police
-You could hurt yourself on the sharp glass

If you do it this thief's way:
-You already know that the owners are busy elsewhere, and likely to be busy for at least the next hour, since it appeared we were getting ready for some kind of performance.
-In the cover of darkness, nobody who happens to be looking outside would suspect much to see their neighbour's normal car return home and a figure walk from driveway to house and enter it easily.
-You also get a free a getaway vehicle, that you ditch later, and even if you own a vehicle, nobody could get your licence plate if they did notice something.

The thief wasn't from the church, the priest was in the play and actually took note of someone unfamiliar in the basement, but when he questioned him, he answered that he was there to set up for the AA meeting.

Comment: Re:Overly Paranoid (Score 1) 245

by dacaldar (#46896851) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Back Up Physical Data?
There's one added risk with leaving anything with your address on it in your glove box.

I was in a group of people that hung our winter jackets on a coat rack to rehearse for a play in the basement of a church. Someone came in while we were busy, reached into coat pockets until finding a set of keys, walked up and down the street clicking "unlock" until he found the right car, took the insurance papers from the glove box to get the home address. Used the car to drive there. Used the same keyring to enter the house, took TV, VCR, etc, and got out of there.

The people who were violated were just thankful they had decided to encourage their 13 year old to come with them to the rehearsal rather than leave her at home alone for a couple hours, which they have done other times (and for those who aren't parents, it's an age where it's considered normal to be able to be home alone, even in modern paranoid times).

After that, I don't keep anything with my address on it in either of our cars. We photocopy the green registration so that both my wife and I have a copy of both in our wallets, even if we switch cars. And we have the insurance company send us an extra copy of the pink proof of insurance for our wallets too.

+ - Unofficial patch extends Windows XP support

Submitted by dfsmith
dfsmith (960400) writes "Many companies, my employer included, have stopped supporting Windows XP starting today. Luckily, a couple of engineers at Microsoft have released simple patch to extend XP support. "Our patch extends March indefinitely. For example, with the patch, today is March 32nd. And we wish you Merry Christmas later this month, on March 300th!", explained Rolf Paoli. Seems like an ingenious way to fix an awkward problem."

+ - Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit The Next Green Light

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Hitting that red light sucks. We've all been there, and you know what I'm talking about. But what if your car could tell you the ideal speed to maintain to hit the next green light? That's exactly what's going to happen in the near future thanks to car-to-car technology. Many automakers are already working on this new tech, and Honda's the latest to trial such systems. This is all part of what's known as Universal Traffic Management System which will eventually provide feedback on car-to-car and infrastructure systems before they go into practical use. The system will also be able to tell the driver if a red light is likely to show before reaching an intersection so the driver can slow down, or notify the driver when that red light will turn green. All of this may seem like something that's supposed to benefit the driver's temper, but in reality it's to help save fuel and lower emissions without any physical changes to the car. This is the future, and your vehicle will talk to other vehicles whether you like it or not."

+ - He Pressed The Brakes, His Tesla Model S Didn't Stop. Why?

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "When things go wrong with the Tesla Model S electric car, its very loyal--and opinionated--owners usually speak up. And that's just what David Noland has done. An incident in which his Model S didn't stop when he pressed the brake pedal scared him--and got him investigating. He measured pedal spacing on 22 different new cars at dealers--and his analysis suggests that the Tesla pedal setup may be causing what aviation analysts call a "design-induced pilot error". And pedal design, as Toyota just learned to the tune of $1.2 billion, is very important indeed in preventing accidents."

Comment: More like "Satanists want Headlines" (Score 1) 1251

Whether you are religious or not, or believe in the existence of the leaders of these religions or not, or believe that there is corruption within the human organizations that run some of these religions or not; the country was founded on values that are consistent with those espoused by "real" religions (oh yes I did), and inconsistent with values tied to the concept of "Satan".

So I'm sorry, but: Satanists, shut up.

At some point, the common values of 98% of people do matter, even while protecting a reasonable freedom of anyone who wants to identify as a minority in some aspect of life. You DO draw a line at hate and violence, for example, regardless that a small minority wants to spread that. Their freedom stops when it goes against the most fundamental rights of everyone else.

Comment: Re:It's really dumb once you understand the purpos (Score 1) 462

by dacaldar (#45320669) Attached to: Re: Daylight Saving Time, I would most like
That trashes the BS "economic" argument that the slashdot article claims. Most of the reasons in that post were wishy-washy or just plain BS.

In the modern world of auto-time-setting devices and instant information (google "time in new york"), there is no confusion caused by DST, certainly not economically harmful confusion.

The "minimal" energy savings, across a whole population, are still probably worth it on their own, but I agree with other posters that most of us would like light in the evening for a number of reasons (I hate shopping, but I strongly prefer keeping DST on all year round, if possible, even with a second hour added in the summer if you want). I'm in Southern Ontario (Canada, not California), and don't like the bright sun shining right through my curtains at 5:30am in June anyway.

Comment: Re:Bullshit we won't notice (Score 1) 466

by dacaldar (#45193505) Attached to: Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers
I can sympathize - I think I'm a bit under 190 cm. (almost 6'2 - switching to imperial for largely American audience)

I just did a crude measurement of my femur with a ruler - from hip bulge to patella, it's 22.5 inches. + another 4 inches taken up by tailbone / skinny butt behind the hip ball. I have been on planes where I didn't physically fit - my knee pushed into the hard part of a seat in front of me - had to constantly sit on an angle. Very annoying.

I don't know if it's fair to equate height requirements with obesity, in terms of arguing who should pay extra. I'm skinny. I eat well (mostly) and exercise. Maybe a few obese people have medical reasons they can't control, but I believe conventional wisdom is that most such people got that way by making bad choices (yes, in large part due to marketing and the food mass-production system in North America, but they still made those choices).

There are plenty of ways tall people already have to suffer to accommodate shorter people - door handles and kitchen counters/sinks are too low, so it's literally a pain for us to navigate a building and do the dishes. If one thinks tall people should pay extra (over double) because of needing an extra inch of forward space, then fair is fair, the airlines should design variable or configurable row depths and ensure the seat in front of you is touching their short femurs, too. Save all that wasted space in front of short people!

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