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Comment: Re:Countdown timers are only for pedestrians? (Score 2) 578

by eric31415927 (#47368249) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

Drivers should use whatever information is out there to avoid accidents.

I have seen leadfoots speed up when the count was low. Bad driving (excessive speed) is rewarded with more tickets and accidents leading to higher insurance rates . In light of this story, perhaps not enough tickets are being issued.

I have seen bus drivers slow down in similar situations. Good driving benefits everyone.

Comment: Multi user games (Score 2) 115

by eric31415927 (#46963139) Attached to: How Free-To-Play Is Constricting Mobile Games

I like old Avalon Hill strategy battle type games. We paid $60 each for them - and I'd buy modern computerized versions of them at the same price. Each player could use their mobile/tablet as his or her interface. Common elements (i.e. public information) could be displayed on a large TV or computer screen. Why aren't these games (re)made?

Comment: Refunds indicate bad tax planning (Score 4, Insightful) 632

by eric31415927 (#46752923) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

A large refund is a sign of poor tax planning. You are getting your own money back without interest. In light of this story, you may not even get your own money back if the feds take it.

Arrange your source deductions and installment payments so that you don't get a refund.

It would be better to owe $2K each year than to expect refunds.

Comment: OMNI solution (Score 1) 983

by eric31415927 (#46465289) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

I remember a puzzle in OMNI some decades ago, where an alien had to transport the knowledge of the Encyclopedia Britannica in its space ship away from Earth without carrying any additional weight.

The solution was to transform all the data into a single rational number between 0 and 1 and to etch a scratch on the surface of the Alien's space ship, where the size of the scratch would correspond with the single rational number (say in inches or some comparable measuring units). It was apparently possible for aliens to etch and subsequently measure distances at the subatomic scale.

Comment: Research Topic: Why I don't have to dress for work (Score 1) 75

by eric31415927 (#45781791) Attached to: The Power of the Hoodie-Wearing C.E.O.

In a similar vein, I knew a prof who researched "Methods of getting out of having to do research" (I used quotes but this is really a paraphrase.)

I don't find anything wrong with such researchers. They are playing a game and earning a living.

My question is: How does such seemingly-ridiculous research get approved for funding? Can we not spend that money on greater good?

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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