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Comment: Re:Can we stop trying to come up with a reason? (Score 1) 260

by Mr. Slippery (#48199027) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

It is a waste of precious resources to turn a woman into a computer programmer when she's a lot more valuable as a mother.

Ha ha! What a great satire of a shitheaded sexist troll you've done here. I especially like the bit about how any distraction, disruption or stress could cause a miscarriage. My doctor, a black belt in karate who trained up until her 8th month, would get a real belly laugh out of that. And my sensei, the EE, would surely get a chuckle out of the implication that she wasted her life by not being a baby machine. Keep polishing the satire and you could have a real career here.

(Assuming, of course, you're not serious. Because no one that stupid could survive.)

Comment: Re:No problem (Score 1) 97

by nbauman (#48198721) Attached to: Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

Airbags are for your head, seat belts are for your torso. If you enjoy slamming your head into your steering wheel, go ahead and disable your airbag. Even more fun are videos of an asymmetric head-on collision that favors one side over the other. The test dummies slam their heads into the frame of the car unless you have properly working forward and side airbags.

I used to work for an engineering society during the 1970s, and I read dozens of seat belt design papers and talked to engineers who designed them.

Those lap and shoulder belts were successfully designed so that in a collision up to at least 60 mph, the driver wouldn't hit the steering wheel, windshield, or windshield frame. These were collisions at about 60 degrees right and left, and with 2 cars offset by several feet. They proved it with computer models, crash tests and real-world studies.

It is true that lap and shoulder belts didn't provide as much protection against a side collision, but neither did airbags. Fortunately, those collisions were not as common. If another car hit the driver's seat head-on and perpendicularly, nobody had a practical way to save the driver. The side bags came after I left, and I'd like to see the studies.

A lot of the auto magazines of the time took the position that air bags added no significant safety, if you were wearing your seat belt. The only reason for requiring them was that we had a low seat belt wearing rate (and we still do).

In engineering terms, it seemed like a shame to spend $500 for complicated, falliable, single-use airbags, just because people refused to use $50 seat belts. But that's the way humans are, and you have to design for them.

I'd feel comfortable driving in a car with a well-designed seat belt and no airbags.

Comment: Re:Why a government site? (Score 1) 97

by nbauman (#48198189) Attached to: Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

Auto manufacturers are required to report potential safety-related defects to the federal government. That information is a public record, so they have to put it on *.gov. That's easier than filling freedom of information act requests.

You should be able to go to, etc. but when you're dealing with life-threatening defects, it's a good practice to have a backup.

And as we know from the medical industry, it's a matter of judgment as to when you have enough reported defects to make a statistically significant decision that a hazard indeed exists. Manufacturers and government regulators often differ.

Google quickly populates with accurate results, but those accurate results will be mixed in with inaccurate results.

Some people have found that government sites are relatively accurate, compared to the other sources, or at least more accountable.

The reason the government is in the business of car recalls is that we left it to the auto companies in the past and they failed.

Comment: Re:Good, it should be that way! (Score 1) 263

by Mr. Slippery (#48196999) Attached to: 3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

The government has no right to a monopoly on any weapon.

However, my neighbor storing atomic weapons in his garage is a reasonable threat to my safety and so should be heavily regulated. If he can meet the same safety standards as the government (maybe some billionaire collector could do this), the state has no legitimate authority to have nukes of its own while denying him one. Or, ya know, maybe nukes are an inherent threat to people and no one, state or otherwise, U.S. or Iran, can have them. But "we can have them, you can't" is not a logically defensible argument.

My neighbor storing machine guns or a typical shooter's supply of ammo in his garage (again, subject to safe storage requirements, no storing a loaded machine gun pointed at my house) is no more a threat to my safety than him having the usual home hardware and chemicals in there. (

Even a tank is not threat -- and indeed, for just $1175 you can spend a day driving one around.)

Comment: Re:OT: ":Fine money should be burned (Score 1) 321

by TheRaven64 (#48195655) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
Burning the money actually works reasonably well as an alternative. It reduces the money supply and therefore lowers inflation, resulting in a relative increase in the value of everyone's money. The counter argument is that rich people profit more, but generally if you have enough money lying around that the effect would be noticeable, you've invested most of it in things that have a much better return on investment than cash, so as a proportion of net worth if favours the people whose money is mostly money (predominantly poor people).

Comment: Re:It is a common thing right now in other cities (Score 1) 321

by TheRaven64 (#48195603) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
That's fine, if late fees are for their original purpose (preventing people using a shared resource from impacting the quality of service for others). It's only a problem when they require them for revenue. Ideally, you want to completely decouple the revenue from punitive fines from the organisation that can set them.

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 2) 321

by TheRaven64 (#48195549) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
And then those same elected officials are subject to calls to cut taxes, but keep public services the same. Want to be reelected? It's difficult if you voted against lowering taxes and your opponent promises that he won't. But no one notices when you make a decision that raises revenue at the expense of safety.

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 321

by TheRaven64 (#48195487) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
I've been in quite a few places in the US where the lights one way turn red at exactly the same time that the lights going the other way turn green. In the UK, there's always a few second pause between the two to ensure that the junction is clear. We like to mock drivers in the US for its high level of road accidents per driven mile, but a lot of the blame goes to the road and signal design, which is just dangerous in a lot of places.

Comment: Re:IN OTHER WORDS? (Score 1) 771

by ultranova (#48195269) Attached to: Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

This is one time me and the FOSSies are actually on the same page, as just like windows 8 was forced from on high and gave the users a big fat greasy finger so too is systemd being pushed by corporate with exactly zero fucks given about what the end users want.

Most end users don't care about the init system one way or another, since most end users don't ever mess with it. On the other hand, every end user was forced to mess with Metro. That's the difference.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly