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Comment: Re:Still too expensive (Score 1) 236 236

Only if you define hauling 4x8 sheets as the purpose. In my area they're used more for hauling trailers, firewood, trash, and numerous other things that are more flexible in their dimensions.

If that's what they are used for in your area, that's the exception rather than the rule in my experience.

The average truck I see isn't hauling anything around. As I said, they are bought not because of utility, but because of a "lifestyle".

Comment: Re:Nothing wrong... (Score 1) 364 364

by dasunt (#50005107) Attached to: Are We Too Quick To Act On Social Media Outrage?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with "social media". It is the Progressive thought that prevails the Western Culture. Political Correctness places style over substance. Or, speech over actions. Pulling words out of context and the twisting of meaning to suit one's purpose is a long and effective tactic.

Conservative counterexample: The red scare.

Comment: Re:Still too expensive (Score 1) 236 236

The Ranger's not sold in the US because Ford closed the Minnesota plant where they built them and decided not to sell them in the US and the market for small pickups has tanked. Has nothing to do with "rules".

I always figured that pickups in the US was an entirely screwed up market anyways.

Look at an old pickup truck - full size bed and a regular cab. It was a great vehicle for its intended purpose - hauling supplies and gear. The bed was long enough (8') and wide enough (4' between the wheel wells) for 4x8 sheets. The regular cab kept the length down to something manageable.

Now look at what the pickup truck has become - extended and crew cabs are the norm, at the cost of bed space. They aren't about function, but about a lifestyle. Because they are about a lifestyle, they no longer function like a truck.

Comment: Re:US South (Score 1) 187 187

by dasunt (#49656655) Attached to: Interactive Map Exposes the World's Most Murderous Places

So much for theory of gun states having less crime.

When I looked at the estimated per-capita gun ownership rates by state, and the per-capita homicide rates per state, I didn't find a clear correlation.

Interestingly, it does appear that states with a higher gun homicide rates also have a correlation with higher non-gun homicide rates.

Comment: Re:Herbivores dying out? Not cows I hope! (Score 5, Interesting) 146 146

by dasunt (#49608037) Attached to: Empty Landscape Looms, If Large Herbivores Continue to Die Out

Though they never explain how every planet in our solar system is warming if it is humans who are causing climate change

Credible citation needed. This claims otherwise:

The basis of this argument is that the sun must be causing global warming and in fact, warming throughout the solar system. There are several flaws in this line of thought. Firstly, the characterisation that the whole solar system is warming is erroneous. Around 6 planets or moons out of the more than 100 bodies in the solar system have been observed to be warming. On the other hand, Uranus is cooling (Young 2001).

Secondly, the theory that a brightening sun is causing global warming falls apart when you consider the sun has shown little to no trend since the 1950s. A variety of independent measurements of solar activity including satellite data, sunspot numbers, UV levels and solar magnetograms all paint a consistent picture. Over the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been moving in opposite directions.

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 1) 628 628

by dasunt (#49602551) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold


I'm seeing the context of the "Lena" image as being a standard test for image processing.

As for art, a lot of it appears to have a sexualized component when it was created (some of it very explicit), but in the context of a class, it's being studied for its place in art history.

So what am I missing? Tell me how a cropped Lena picture is any worse than (say) Goya's The Nude Maja, which Wikipedia notes was probably created to hang in a private collection, and whose subject, just like the Lena photograph, looks directly at the viewer (and unlike the Lena photograph, "Nude Maja" tends not to be cropped).

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 3, Insightful) 628 628

by dasunt (#49602139) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Computer vision scientist here.Yes, I've taught such a practical as a postdoc, so no I had no control over the content. Yes Lena was used. Sooner or later someone figures out where the image is from and everyone, well the guys, all have a good laugh.

So yes it does create a hostile environment. I'm afraid that your armchair logic and reasoning are going to come in second to those who have not only witnessed it, but been a part of the whole thing first hand.

How exactly does it create a hostile environment?

For bonus points, explain how nudity in classic art (paintings, sculptures, etc) does not create a hostile environment in the classroom.

Comment: Re:Money (Score 1) 140 140

by dasunt (#49568193) Attached to: New Privacy Threat: Automated Vehicle Occupancy Detection

Yeah, that's what it says on the tin. In reality they just eat up a lane of traffic that could otherwise be used to alleviate rush hour congestion.

You'd think more lanes would mean less congestion, but the data doesn't always agree. It seems that humans are programmed to spend a certain amount of time on trips, and if congestion is removed and the average speed increases, people just end up driving for greater distances. That concept is called "induced demand", and has been compared to fighting obesity by buying a bigger pair of pants.

After all, who's going to get into a car with a bunch of strangers, and not have a vehicle when they reach their destination?

Don't bus riders do this every day?

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

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) 143 143

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) 324 324

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) 287 287

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) 198 198

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) 765 765

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.

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."