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Comment: Re:But But But It's the Handouts That Are Bankrupt (Score 4, Interesting) 370

by dasunt (#49421755) Attached to: How the Pentagon Wasted $10 Billion On Military Projects

Actually, there was a real welfare queen that fits the details of the urban legend.

Her name was Linda Taylor. And welfare fraud was probably among the least of her crimes. It's a fascinating story.

Now obviously, she's the exception, rather than the rule. Most people on welfare aren't creating multiple fake identities in order to bilk the system. And most sure aren't involved in possible kidnappings and suspicious deaths.

Comment: Re:Which is it? Very different cases. (Score 2) 143

Anyway, once a place is burned out, harvested, and so on we plant new trees there anyway. The forestry industry here is amazingly good at creating an entire harvest, burn, plant cycle.

I've walked through tree farms. They are about as close to a natural forest as a field of wheat is to a prairie.

Comment: Re: So What (Score 1) 324

by dasunt (#49379365) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

That may be so, but certainly not because they'd miss Big Gov.

Nobody in the 1930s would miss a government-provided social safety net? They wouldn't miss food stamps, housing and heat assistance, medical care for the poor, or unemployment insurance?

Just what do you think the economy was doing in the 1930s?

Comment: Re:Cruise control? (Score 2) 287

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) 765

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) 144

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.

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.