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Comment: Re:Why so many trucks? Why not railroads (Score 1) 242

by flink (#46396551) Attached to: Walmart Unveils Turbine-Powered WAVE Concept Truck

Also consider that while a large truck does carry a significant amount of weight, they also distribute it over a significantly larger contact patch. While I will grant you that load on the asphalt is still higher than most cars, it's not nearly as straight forward as one might think. If someone with more time could google a comparison, that would be very enlightening.

Damage done to the road rises exponentially with the load. The rule of thumb is damage to the road is proportional to (gross weight / # axles)^4. A single fully loaded tractor trailer can do as much damage to a road as 1000 passenger cars. So I don't know if the higher fuel tax trucks pay completely offsets the additional wear they put on the roads.

See http://www.pavementinteractive...

Comment: Re:Not too bad... (Score 5, Informative) 534

by flink (#44859161) Attached to: Toronto Family Bans All Technology In Their Home Made After 1986

but for fucks sake the other kid IS FUCKING TWO YEARS OLD and the other one is FIVE - . and they go on an ultra ban on everything because they can't put the ipad on the top shelf - hell, I'd be proud if they could operate them, even iOS involves quite a bit of reading and even with familiar icons I bet the dad had to start the angry birds for the two year old one. they could have just bought them a ball.

You are severely underestimating 2 year olds. My daughter figured out how to unlock the iPad, page around until she found netflicks, open it, find Curios George in the recently watched list, and start it playing. And this was when she was 18 months old. And yes we had to sharply curtail her iPad time. She's supposed to be learning to explore her world physically at this age, not zone out in front of a screen.

We do still let her play for a few minutes a day because it is good for her to learn the tech, but too much screen time is IMHO counterproductive at her age. Besides after an iPad session she's always a huge grump.

Comment: Re:li-ion batteries suck (Score 1) 351

by flink (#44748117) Attached to: At Current Rates, Tesla Could Soon Suck Up Worldwide Supply of Li-Ion Cells

The first vehicle (daily commuter) of almost every household could easily be electric with current tech (with range less than a Tesla). Single vehicle households can supplement with rental vehicles on rare occasions where long distance travel is necessary.

That's great if you live in the suburbs and have a garage where you can plug the car in in overnight. Until municipalities start installing metered outlets in on-street overnight parking spaces, electric is unfortunately impractical for millions of people.

That and the fact that the model S was 4x the price of my bottom-of-the-line Hyundai made it a non-starter for me.

Comment: Re:Anyone should be able to fly (Score 2) 213

by flink (#44720459) Attached to: One Strike Against No Fly List; More Scrutiny To Come

" If they have been charged with committing a crime that warrants limiting their travel ... If they haven't be charged with a crime in a open court of law then there is nothing to discuss and they are free to travel however they choose."

Please tell me that you keep using the word charged when you mean convicted.

People charged with a crime often have a their movements restricted as a condition of their bail.

Comment: Re:I get to bust this one out again. (Score 1) 209

by flink (#44634303) Attached to: San Francisco Fire Chief Bans Helmet-Mounted Cameras For Firefighters

Paramedics are first responders. They are indeed bound by HIPAA. There is no assumption about it.

Are all firefighters paramedics? This is a legitimate question, I really don't know, but we were discussing videos made by a firefighter, not a paramedic per se.

Regardless, does the video of a guy kicking down your front door and dragging you out of a burning building constitute PHI? Is removing you from immediate proximity to physical danger a medical encounter?

IANAL, but I did work work as an SE in the medical world for 15 years at organizations that both acted as PHI clearinghouses for claims and clinical records as well as creating practice management software. In my experience the scope of HIPAA's privacy protections are a lot narrower than what slashdotters like to think.

This is one of those corner cases that raises some interesting questions, but like I said it's making a lot of assumptions to claim unequivocally that such a video would automatically run afoul of HIPAA. If there is anyone with first hand institutional experience in this arena, I'd be curious to hear of any similar cases. For example, where do security tapes recorded by hospital security land?

Comment: Re:I get to bust this one out again. (Score 2) 209

by flink (#44623783) Attached to: San Francisco Fire Chief Bans Helmet-Mounted Cameras For Firefighters

Under HIPPA, such video recording is not illegal. However it must be treated as protected patient information if the patient can be identified from the video. It is what happens to that video that can land the person responsible in legal hot water.

You are making the assumption that the firefighter is a HIPAA covered entity, and that the video of them performing their duty constitutes a medical record. Both of those are pretty big assumptions.

Comment: Re:I know the government loves to lie to us... (Score 3, Informative) 490

by flink (#44229669) Attached to: Obamacare Software Glitch Will Limit Penalties Charged To Smokers

Been trying to warn folks for years that the smokers were the canaries in the coal mine but nobody listened. Look at your history folks, government ALWAYS gets bigger, NEVER smaller. Look at places like NYC telling you how big of a soda you are allowed to have and talks of sugar taxes and fat taxes, all under the "its because of healthcare" bullshit excuse.

This isn't unique to the government. When I was at my previous fortune-100 employer, they penalized smokers as well (actually what they did was raise the rates for everyone, but gave non-smokers a "discount"). It's not that uncommon. Additionally some places will hand out "fitness incentives" (i.e. penalize overweight people).

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.