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Comment: Re:Search poisoning (Score 1) 187

by ehud42 (#46482099) Attached to: Google Blurring Distinction Between Ads and Organic Search Results

If they start poisoning search with for-profit results Google will be quickly reminded that they are not the only search engine in town.

And other search engines (that matter) are?


My point being, google's dominance in the search space, while not guaranteed, will certainly offer them a fair bit of buffer to experiment.

Comment: What's wrong with good old TRS plugs? (Score 3, Interesting) 408

by ehud42 (#45594897) Attached to: Death to the Trapezoid... Next USB Connector Will Be Reversible

Tip-{ring,ring,...}-Sleeve. Easily handles the 3 or 4 connectors needs for just about any modern digital serial connector. Need power? why not modulate the signal on top of the power carrier? Easy to connect, proven reliable (can't count how many times I've broken a mini/micro USB or worse those umpteen pin pico/nano pin connectors that are only used for power or maybe a simple serial connection)

Comment: Garbage bags (Score 2) 470

by ehud42 (#45538357) Attached to: EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem

In Winnipeg (Canada), charging for bags - or even simply flat out not supplying them (MEC), has resulted in such a drop in small, convenient shopping bags that we (re)used for garbage bags, that we now have to explicitly buy garbage bags (for small waste bins like in the bathrooms).

Also, yard waste used to be dropped off at certain depots - and large plastic bags were king. Now, it is collected at the curb side - but only if in PAPER yard waste bags. We had stocked up on the large garbage bags for yard waste before the switch, and I fear we now have a lifetime supply of paint smocks, emergency rain coats, vapour barrier material, etc....

Comment: Different priorities - who you know vs who you see (Score 2) 453

by ehud42 (#45303637) Attached to: 20-Somethings Think It's OK To Text and Answer Calls In Business Meetings

I suspect (based on a loose study of my family), us older generation believes that the more important people to focus your attention on are the ones in your presence (at the table, in a meeting, etc) and that the person on the other end of the line can wait.

Our kids however, feel that certain people are more important than others regardless of where they are. Their friends are more important than any boss or family that is nearby.

And so, my wife and I will let the phone ring / answer machine take the call, ignore text messages / FB notifications, etc during supper.

And my kids are squirming as if in extreme pain if their phone buzzes and we don't let them immediately see who it's from and if it's a friend let them respond.

I'm not going to say it's a bad priority shift, but it certainly is an interesting one.

Comment: Bullet control (Score 3, Insightful) 656

by ehud42 (#43675073) Attached to: Printable Gun Downloads Top 100k In 2 Days, Thanks to Kim Dotcom

Not to say that DIY'ers can't get around this, but all them fancy guns need fancy bullets. Home made guns will also need decent bullets. So, why not tighten up bullet control:

(It's Chris Rock)

I realize lots of hunters, etc reload their own, but I'm not aware of too many DIY'ers who are able to make reliable primers (might be wrong) - so maybe just control the sale and distribution of primers?

Comment: Point in time art / content (Score 1) 684

by ehud42 (#43569425) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are There <em>Any</em> Good Reasons For DRM?

Like ice sculptures, live performances, draft deals, verbal negotiations - there are things that need to be done that lead to better things, but in themselves have no value if kept and (sometimes) can only do harm.

These things would benefit from DRM that render them useless at the will & command of the creator.

Comment: Re:OSHA must be thrilled (Score 4, Insightful) 130

by ehud42 (#42216323) Attached to: How Peer1 Survived Sandy

OSHA must be thrilled

Getting OSHA / union / bubblewrap parents involved means that those who are capable of helping are not allowed to because of the risk that some idiot gets hurt or damages something.

They have their place and time when things are normal to try and minimize the impact of a disaster, but once that disaster is in full swing, they need to sit down, shut up and let people self-mobilize to get the job done.

In the spring of '97 guys were working heavy equipment for days straight, often by the light of military flares, to build a dike that saved Winnipeg from one of the biggest spring floods in our history (often "stealing" clay/dirt from nearby farms to get the dike to the heights needed, dragging and dumping scrap cars, buses, anything they could find to shore up the water front side from erosion, etc.). Ignoring the union rules, safety rules, land procurement rules, etc. they got it done in time.

After the flood waters receded, then all the compensating processes kicked in to address the shortcomings.

Comment: Real world testing please (Score 2) 167

by ehud42 (#41824739) Attached to: Glow-In-The-Dark Smart Highways Coming To the Netherlands In 2013

There's a stretch of highway by my place that has these really cool LED lights countersunk into the centre line that I'm sure were marketed as a great way to increase safety. The stretch of highway is a narrow 2 lane non-divided temporary by pass around a construction zone (major interchange being built to no where).

The problem with these fancy LEDs is they are so dim that I actually find myself quite distracted trying to determine if they are in fact glowing. Had they gone with a much lower tech solution of putting countersunk reflectors, my headlights would have gladly lit up the centre line.

Glow in the dark stickers, etc. only work when the surrounding area is really dark, otherwise there just isn't enough contrast.

I hope this tech provides a significant visual contrast or else it will just be a distracting and annoying waste of money.

Comment: Re:Power steering isn't a safety feature. (Score 1) 658

by ehud42 (#41662191) Attached to: $3,000 Tata Nano Car Coming To US

Where the heck did you get all your misinformation from, again?

Owned a 1989 Eagle Vista GT - no power steering, 1989 Honda Civic LX with power steering, and a 1996 Geo Metro with no power steering and now a 2009 Toyota Yaris with power steering. All manual Tx btw. Not sure if the Yaris can come w/out power steering, so not much opinion there, but based on the other 3 - I was safer without power steering.

When the Honda was getting old and would stall (often as I was slowing to a stop at intersections) the sudden loss of power assist in the steering was disconcerting at best, and certainly added effort and therefore time to react as I tried to limp to the side of the road. Neither Metro nor Eagle had that problem.

Looking at failure modes of the smaller cars I've owned - I'll stand by my statement that power steering was a safety hazard.

Comment: Re:Power steering isn't a safety feature. (Score 1) 658

by ehud42 (#41661657) Attached to: $3,000 Tata Nano Car Coming To US

Funny, it seems the NHTSA actually agrees with me. Allow me to quote:

"ABS allows the driver to maintain directional stability,control over steering, and in some situations, to reduce stopping distances during emergency braking situation, particularly on wet and slippery road surface."

When specifically answering the "Do cars with ABS stop more quickly than cars without?" question they have this to say:

"ABS is designed to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle during emergency braking situations, not make the car stop more quickly."

They then do some hand waving saying some systems may stop a car faster, (BTW, they don't mention "skilled drivers").

The reality is, the difference in stopping distances are minor nits compared to the benefit of steering while breaking - and ABS needs to be advertised as such.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen