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Comment: Re:Cruise control? (Score 2) 282

by dasunt (#49334947) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

We've already tuned out. Try riding a bicycle or motorcycle - as a non-typical vehicle on the road, more drivers won't notice you and you'll have more close calls.

We just aren't wired to be diligent over the many hours we drive in our lifetime. We get used to things. We run on our own autopilot already. And that can end up being deadly.

Comment: Re:Why isn't public transport 'free'? (Score 1) 198

If there is a lot of traffic regardless - say in a downtown area during rush hour - buses generate significantly more pollution than cars. Unless each bus is completely full, the emissions benefit may not cover the number of vehicles on the road.

Assuming that the average car gets 25 mpg, and the average bus gets even 5 mpg, and that idling emissions are proportional to the gas mileage, wouldn't it take just five passengers on the bus to equal one automobile with a single driver?

I'm not sure where you are at, but when I took the bus to work, I don't think I was ever the sole passenger.

Comment: Re:Define "Threatened" and "Unwelcome" (Score 0) 764

by dasunt (#49316789) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

Basically there's a war on men being men.

How do you define "being men"? There's facial hair, greater average strength, and other miscellaneous changes, none of which I'm seeing as being warred upon.

to sell out their gender

I suppose the bigger question would be how you can sell out your gender (penises taken from unsuspecting men and sold on eBay?) But there seems to be also an assumption that one should have more loyalty to their gender than, say, people who share their eye color.

Comment: Re:Use it or lose it (Score 3, Informative) 143

by dasunt (#49308671) Attached to: Excess Time Indoors May Explain Rising Myopia Rates

So, as with many of the bodies abilities; it's just a case of use that distance vision, or lose it when your eyes adapt to shorter ranges.

Except according to the article, that isn't the mechanism. It's the intensity of light that causes the body to prevent myopia due to changes in dopamine levels.

Not only that, but in animal studies, if chicks were given a drug that inhibited dopamine's effects on the eyes, they'd develop myopia in the same conditions that the control chicks would not.

So it's not "use it or lose it". It's "you need bright light".

Comment: Re:From another article... (Score 1) 341

As someone who has spent a career working on safety-critical real-time systems, I can assure you that it's not in any way "much easier than people think". Quite the opposite. Sure, driving a car down a well marked highway on a clear sunny day with little traffic and no system failures is easy. But if you obscure the lane markings in any of a number of ways, add inclement weather, throw out random obstacles, random system failures, etc. the problem gets monumentally harder.

The criteria shouldn't be "a perfect AI" but "a better AI than a human driver".

Human drivers tend to be a pretty low bar.

Comment: Re:Well, I guess I've got to watch it now. (Score 2) 356

It's also a country where most people will rather buy a slightly more expensive phone than replace their outhouse with a running water toilet.

Is this a problem? I'm not sure about outhouses in India, but I've used them in the US. A flush toilet isn't that much of an improvement from a personal use perspective - the main advantage is that it can be inside the house. So the trade off is "having to walk outside" versus "having to walk to a room inside".

Contrast that with a fancy phone which provides communications and internet as well as apps. That trade off is involves having internet access and making it easy for friends, family, and employment contacts to reach you.

I'd make the decision for the phone myself.

Comment: Re:Changes based on the Season (Score 1) 304

by dasunt (#49134129) Attached to: I ride a bike ...

(I don't, my hands get frozen already when it's below 10 degrees C (50 F?).

For warmer weather (10C is warmer), get some good gloves. For colder weather (around -10C) buy some pogies. Here's a good brand.

(I envy your nice weather in Norway. Its just my luck that my ancestors left for somewhere that was actually colder. :p But I can tell you that it's usually about -20C when the bike itself tends to stiffen up - it gets harder to go fast. But some people to the north go in weather far colder than that.)

Comment: Re: About right (Score 5, Insightful) 246

by dasunt (#49110635) Attached to: In Florida, Secrecy Around Stingray Leads To Plea Bargain For a Robber

You don't consider the threat of being shot and then having your property taken a violent crime? The fact the weapon turned out to not be able to shoot bullets doesn't matter, nor should it.

Assume a criminal has either the choice of a BB gun or a regular gun to commit a crime with.

In scenario A, the BB gun is considered a lesser offense than robbing someone with a regular firearm.

In scenario B, the BB gun is considered the same as robbing someone with a regular gun.

Under which scenario do you assume that more people are held up with weapons that are actually capable of killing them? In which scenario are more crime victims shot?

Being tough on crime sounds good, but it can have unintended consequences.

Comment: Re:Never finish (Score 4, Interesting) 180

He may not finish it, but you can be damned sure the producers of the series have a solid plot line at their disposal should he kick the bucket.

True, but I don't expect them to have the same level of detail or intricacy the completed series would have.

It's quite a complicated world. It's easy to miss out on the little clues scattered here and there - such as Young Griff's possible ancestry; who was responsible for Balon's death; the creaking hinge of Aeron's memories; the identities of the Sphinx, the new Pirate King in the Stepstones, the brother on the Quiet Isle, Robert Strong, and more; or what actually happened at the Tower of Joy, etc.

And that's what we actually can claim to be pretty certain about, if you're a careful reader. There's so much unrevealed or left ambiguous - what is up in the Land of Always Winter, who is Septa Lemore or Coldhands, what happened to Benjen (and no, he's not Coldhands, they killed him "long ago"), what's on the Isle of Faces, what did Rhaegar read that lead him to become a warrior, where did Tysha go, etc. Now some of these won't be answered most likely, but we'll get more answers, both in the main series and in the Dunk & Egg novellas.

I think the television series can pull off a satisfactory conclusion, especially since it veers off on its own direction occasionally (Yara's plotline, for example) and by the necessity of the television medium it must be more simple than the books. But I don't think the written series will be the same if someone else finishes it.

Comment: Re: Agent Smith was Right (Score 1) 110

by dasunt (#48802213) Attached to: Ancient Viruses Altered Human Brains

I'm not saying humans are awesome, and I'm not dismissing our environmental impacts. I'm just pointing out the flaws in that speech.

Take "Collapse" by Jared Diamond, since you mentioned it. The regions he talked about still have a human population. It's not similar to a virus, but instead a boom/bust population cycle common to some mammals (e.g. the infamous snowshoe hare)

We may cause the end of our civilization in many ways. But humanity is likely to still be around even after the end.

Comment: Re:Agent Smith was Right (Score 5, Interesting) 110

by dasunt (#48799723) Attached to: Ancient Viruses Altered Human Brains

Agent Smith: "I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops an equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not.

Cute sentimentality, but considering how obviously untrue it is, that monologue always bugged me.

First off, what areas have humans consumed so many natural resources that they can no longer survive there? About the only arguable cases I can think of is areas of desertification - and even then, humans do manage to live there.

Second, mammals have no instinct to come to an equilibrium with their environment. E.g. rabbits in Australia - introduced a century ago, and definitely did not come to an homeostasis with the environment they found - instead, growing so numerous that they are a serious ecological problem.

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"