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Comment: The Germans just need to do development in the US (Score 1) 177

by deck (#49348297) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

While they are trying to change the laws back home they might as well do their development and testing in the United States. We currently have fewer restrictions here.

I agree with gstoddart about autonomous cars being able to be 100% hands off by the user at all times for normal driving regimes. If the companies that make them do it right then they should not be afraid of being 100% responsible when the vehicle is in autonomous mode. Some computer modeling of autonomous vehicles has shown a major drop in the number of accidents; hopefully this can be realized in real life. However, owners will have to have insurance to cover the vehicle as property and when they are operating it.

Comment: Verizon isn't alone (Score 4, Informative) 94

by deck (#48915969) Attached to: FCC Fines Verizon For Failing To Investigate Rural Phone Problems

I live in an area that is serviced by AT&T (Southwestern Bell doing business as). This is a rural area in North Texas near Fort Worth that has smaller holdings counted in acres or tens of acres and not generally hundreds of acres. This location is maybe 12 miles from the central office that services my land lines. Almost every time there are heavy rains or even ice or snow (remember, Texas) the phone lines go down. It takes nearly a week to get them repaired. But come the next weather event down they go. And cell phone service is not good. I can walk ten feet within my house and lose the connection with the cell tower.

AT&T expressed their disdain of Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) (analog telephone over copper pairs) about 4 years ago when they filed a request for rule making with the FCC to outlaw POTS. They compared POTS to analog television and used the reasoning that if the FCC could force the switch to digital television and relegate analog television to the garbage bin of history, the FCC could do the same for POTS. I believe it was discussed here on Slashdot. This must have been their marketing department because AT&T didn't realize the technical impact this could have in densely populated areas that have extremely high telephone usage such as skyscrapers with a few thousand people that were constantly on the phone for business. It may be that VOIP would negate the problem but they actually focused on cell phone usage.

The big telephone companies keep dreaming of having everything go over to cell or other services that have MUCH higher profit margins than POTS. If the biggies make the service bad enough they hope they can drive people off of it.

Comment: Re:Not surprising.-- Universal Service Fee (Score 4, Insightful) 94

by deck (#48915761) Attached to: FCC Fines Verizon For Failing To Investigate Rural Phone Problems

The Universal Service Fee (i.e. Tax) that is on everyone's phone bill is supposed to cover the cost of doing this. Unfortunately, it has become just added profit as the phone companies (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) do not use it to subsidize rural phone service. If this was a Libertarian Paradise, you probably would pay $500 dollars a month for landline service while someone in a densely populated urban area would pay $5 a month. Cell phone service would have a greater disparity in price.

Comment: Re:Fundamentally flawed (Score 1) 871

by deck (#45059421) Attached to: Bennett Haselton's Response To That "Don't Talk to Cops" Video

I was going to make the same point. I viewed those videos a couple of years or more in the past. The main take away was to not talk to the police without a lawyer. If the police are wanting to convict someone or anyone no matter their innocence, they will try to ask leading and distorted questions to get the "right" answers.

Comment: Re:NO (Score 4, Informative) 248

by deck (#44423553) Attached to: Second SFO Disaster Avoided Seconds Before Crash

As a professional pilot, I have to agree that this seems to be a case of poor pilotage whether they were using the autopilot or not. This goes less to being under trained and more to complacency on the part of the flight crew. I would hazard a guess that the pilot of this one also had thousands of hours of flight time just as the pilot of the Asiana flight did (about 10,000 hours for the later). When flying an airplane one MUST be aware of where they are in the four dimensional space and where they should be; the term for it is "situational awareness". The "are" can be of the flight crews own making or caused by other factors and the "should be" may or may not be attainable. When the "are" is other factors and the "should be" is not attainable then it is a true accident.

Comment: You prove that the problem is you by your words (Score 1) 817

by deck (#41768241) Attached to: Texas Attorney General Warns International Election Observers

You prove by your own words that your are an ill informed, uneducated, arrogant idiot. You do not understand the relationship of the Federal Government and State Governments. If you are in the United States of America you will probably vote even if you are not a citizen or otherwise not eligible to vote. And I can predict that the candidtate will be a Socialist.

Comment: This is the New York Times (Score 1) 963

by deck (#39867503) Attached to: Last Bastion For Climate Dissenters Crumbling

The New York Times used to be a good newspaper. It is now a bastion of leftwing nut cases and massively Anti-American pseudo-jounalist. I don't think I would believe what they write even if I saw it happen myself. They would politicize it and blame it on anyone right of the far-far left wing.

There is insufficient evidence to point to changes in the climate being anthropogenic versus just a natural cycle (which could be imposed on other natural cycles). I know most of you lefties, communist, greenie, mindless posters which respect to this issue have the problem solved. I think you believe we should wipe out 90% of the human race and live like we did 10,000 years ago. That would be good for you because they would take away your fricking computers and internet; then you would have to work for a living.

Comment: No seat belt for you...No insurance for injuries.. (Score 4, Interesting) 455

by deck (#38514426) Attached to: IBM Granted Your-Paychecks-Are-What-You-Eat Patent

I am fine if you don't wear your seat belt and maybe the law shouldn't be that way. But please don't ask to have your injuries caused by not wearing it covered. The auto insurance company I am with does just that. If you don't wear a seat belt then they pay a small percentage of the medical and don't cover anything that is obviously a result of not wearing the seat belt (like being ejected from the vehicle and bouncing down the road). It is a business proposition between my insurance company and myself. To keep my rates lower, I wear a seat belt. And if the law should state something, it should be that insurance companies and individuals are not liable for injuries incurred because a seat belt is not worn.

Comment: Re:Is it possible (Score 1) 330

by deck (#32283162) Attached to: German High Court Declares All Software Patentable

Your ECU example is not an example of a software patent but an example of a system patent that employes software. The use of software in a control system is so old that it is probably not patentable on its own. Forty years ago software was used in control systems but it was not practical to implement it for the standard automobile. I would bet that there were test engines run by mini-computers of the time.

There are many examples that show what are bad software patents. The recent Redhat/Novell case which invalidated iPi's patents show some of the absurdity of software patents. HPs recent patent on number order that is a mathematical process that has been done for nearly a century, why is it patentable when done in software and not on a yellow pad of paper? There have even been a case or two of patents for software methods that have been taught for decades.

Comment: Yes, Ban Dihydrogen monoxide... (Score 5, Funny) 794

by deck (#31443764) Attached to: Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking
The banning of the use of dihydrogen monoxide (also known as hydric acid) in the preparation of food would be an excellent admentment to this bill. Yes, I know what dihydrogen monoxide is. In our lab at my previous place of employment we even had a material safety data sheet for it. Check it out here Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division.
Graphics

Disney Releases 3D Texture Mapper Source Code 83

Posted by timothy
from the nice-of-them dept.
dsavi writes "Ptex, Walt Disney Animation Studio's cutting-edge 3D texture mapping library which was first used on nearly every surface in the 2008 animated feature Bolt, was released under the BSD license on Friday. Quoting the announcement on monophyl.com: 'We expect to follow Ptex with other open source projects that we hope the community will find beneficial. We will soon be launching a new Walt Disney Animation Studios Technology page under disneyanimation.com. It will include links to our open source projects as will as a library of recent publications.' This looks good for open source 3D graphics."

Comment: Re:Wow, (Score 1) 1079

by deck (#30410974) Attached to: Sci-Fi Author Peter Watts Beaten, Charged During Border Crossing

You are out of your bloody mind. You know nothing of the United States of America except what those who hate the USA have filled your head with. As some one said what you apparently want is an Anarchy where you are not constrained nor responsible. The fact is that all Anarchies eventually become Totalitarian Dictatorships because people desire some degree of order.

BTW, while John Lennon was an okay musician; he was a political and social IDIOT.

Censorship

Sharp Rise In Jailing of Online Journalists; Iran May Just Kill Them 233

Posted by timothy
from the your-ethics-may-vary dept.
bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists has published their annual census of journalists in prison. Of the 136 reporters in prison around the world on December 1, 'At least 68 bloggers, Web-based reporters, and online editors are imprisoned, constituting half of all journalists now in jail.' Print was next with 51 cases. Also, 'Freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed worldwide, a dramatic recent increase that reflects the evolution of the global news business.' China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma were the top 5 jailers of journalists." rmdstudio writes, too, with word that after the last few days' protest there, largely organized online, the government of Iran is considering the death penalty for bloggers and webmasters whose reports offend it.
Image

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Posted by samzenpus
from the snack-is-going-to-be-on-the-floor-today dept.
Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

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