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Comment: Re:Not a fan (Score 2) 254

by Waffle Iron (#48893551) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

You need to go watch a local SCCA race. Lifting the inside rear wheel is normal.

Normal in a race.

Several makers, like VW and Mazda, even show their cars doing that in their ads.

"Closed course. Professional driver. Do not attempt."

On my Honda [yadda yadda rant rant]

Looks like you need to get a bumper sticker with Calvin pissing on a Honda.

Comment: Re:I have an even better idea (Score 1) 254

by Waffle Iron (#48893045) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

I do not approve of any system that will arbitrarily override my basic controls of the vehicle,

You do realize that most cars sold in the last couple of decades have computers that can override your inputs and monkey around with your brakes whenever you're trying to speed up or slow down the vehicle?

+ - U.S. Gas Stations Vulnerable To Internet Attacks->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Automated tank gauges (ATGs), which are used by gas stations in the U.S. to monitor their fuel tank levels can be manipulated over the Internet by malicious attackers, according to security firm Rapid7. 'An attacker with access to the serial port interface of an ATG may be able to shut down the station by spoofing the reported fuel level, generating false alarms, and locking the monitoring service out of the system,' said HD Moore, the chief research officer at Rapid7."
Link to Original Source

+ - 'I paid $25 for an Invisible Boyfriend and I Think I Might Be in Love'

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Caitlin Dewey writes in the Washington Post that she's been using a new service called "Invisible Boyfriend" and that she's fallen in love with it. When you sign up for the service, you design a boyfriend (or girlfriend) to your specifications. "You pick his name, his age, his interests and personality traits. You tell the app if you prefer blonds or brunettes, tall guys or short, guys who like theater or guys who watch sports. Then you swipe your credit card — $25 per month, cha-ching! — and the imaginary man of your dreams starts texting you." Invisible boyfriend is actually boyfriends, plural: The service’s texting operation is powered by CrowdSource, a St. Louis-based tech company that manages 200,000 remote, microtask-focused workers. "When I send a text to the Ryan number saved in my phone, the message routes through Invisible Boyfriend, where it’s anonymized and assigned to some Amazon Turk or Fivrr freelancer. He (or she) gets a couple of cents to respond. He never sees my name or number, and he can’t really have anything like an actual conversation with me." Dewey says that the point of Invisible Boyfriend is to deceive the user’s meddling friends and relatives. "I was newly divorced and got tired of everyone asking if I was dating or seeing someone," says co-founder Matthew Homann. "There seems to be this romance culture in our country where people are looked down upon if they aren't in a relationship."

Evidence suggests that people can be conned into loving just about anything. There is no shortage of stories about couples carrying on “relationships” exclusively via Second Life , the game critic Kate Gray recently published an ode to “Dorian,” a character she fell in love with in a video game, and one anthropologist argues that our relationships are increasingly so mediated by tech that they’ve become indistinguishable from Tamagotchis. “The Internet is a disinhibiting medium, where people’s emotional guard is down,” says Mark Griffiths. “It’s the same phenomenon as the stranger on the train, where you find yourself telling your life story to someone you don’t know.” It’s not exactly the stuff of fairytales, concludes Dewey. "But given enough time and texts — a full 100 are included in my monthly package — I’m pretty sure I could fall for him. I mean, er them.""

+ - Should Disney Require its Employees to Be Vaccinated? 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "According to Joanna Rothkopf Disneyland is already a huge petri dish of disease with tired children wiping their snot faces on Goofy and then riding log flumes through mechanized rivers filled with the backwash of thousands of other sweaty, unwashed, weeping toddlers. Now John Tozzi reports at Businessweek that five workers at Disneyland have been diagnosed with measles in an outbreak that California officials trace to visitors at the theme park in mid-December. The measles outbreak is a publicity nightmare for Disney and the company is urging its 27,000 workers at the park to verify that they're inoculated against the virus, and the company is offering tests and shots on site for workers who are unvaccinated. One thing Disney won't do, however, is require workers to get routine vaccinations as a condition of employment. Almost no companies outside the health-care industry do. "To make things mandatory just raises a lot of legal concerns and legal issues," says Rob Niccolini. Disney has been working with public health officials, and Disney has already put some employees on paid leave until medically cleared. "They recognized that they were just a meeting place for measles," says Gilberto Chávez. "And they are quite concerned about doing what they can to help control the outbreak.""

Comment: Re:Awesome, I shall buy one in a year (Score 3, Interesting) 111

by slaker (#48880855) Attached to: NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card

You might be able to find a Geforce 750 for $125 or so. They're adequate but definitely not ideal for 1920x1080 in most PC games. They're also ridiculously efficient; they don't even need an extra PCIe power connection.
If anyone tells me they want to game on a PC and don't immediately mention a game with a more serious demand, that's the hardware I use.

I generally prefer ATI hardware because I think nVidia's stock cooling kills graphics cards and I'd rather deal with crappy drivers, but the current ATI hardware is a complete non-starter. There's really no level at all where it can be justified.

Comment: Re:It's about time. (Score 1) 134

by dpilot (#48876055) Attached to: Simon Pegg On Board To Co-Write Next Star Trek Film

Hmmmm.... I wonder how far The Culture is from Roddenberry's ideals? In some ways, The Culture seems to me to be a far more realistic post-Singularity type of civilization than the Federation. The trappings are far more fantastic, (GSVs, anyone?) but TOS tended to underestimate many things. As one example, the communicators were basically phones, and other than communicating with an orbiting starship instead of a local tower, they only do a fraction of what today's smartphones do.

Plus even The Culture gets to have explosions. I'm currently re-reading "Surface States". The first time I read it, I particularly liked one Ship giving a fairly complex blow-by-blow account of a space battle that was only something like 15 microseconds long.

Comment: Re:This guy hasn't done his research. (Score 1) 629

by Waffle Iron (#48859851) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Exactly, what can C do that python can't?

Handle blocks of code independant of formatting constraints like indenting.

All the while enabling decades of bike shed arguments about brace formatting and countless bugs due to optional braces (because they are under-constrained).

Comment: Re:instant disqualification (Score 1) 629

by Waffle Iron (#48859709) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Furthermore you need to indent it properly.

It was a single expression after the print. Python allows him indent it any way he wants to. He could have arranged the expression into a variety of pretty cascaded tree shapes similar to lisp code (especially if he slapped one more set of parens around the whole thing), and Python would have parsed it just fine. Leaving it on one line works just as well, as would random indentation.

Python's block indentation rules applies only to statements.

Comment: Re:Ten years behind but catching up! (Score 1) 348

by dpilot (#48856699) Attached to: Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

However in Europe you've been warned. In the US we walked (or sat?) way too far down this path before discovering how bad it is. Now that we all know better, you can change your path before getting where we are.

OTOH, my wife are generally stupified looking at twenty-somethings smoking. Our parents didn't know better, and in fact during WWII the Army included cigarettes with meal rations. During our generation (I'm a later Boomer.) we sort-of knew better, but the cigarette companies didn't actually admit they were lying until well into my adulthood. For this generation there's no doubt about how bad cigarettes are, but if anything smoking seems to be on the rise.

I wonder if Hari Seldon would have said that masses of people are stupid, as well as predictable.

Comment: Re:GeekDesk! (Score 1) 348

by dpilot (#48856571) Attached to: Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

I wonder how much a standing desk would really help. Absent the standing desk, I would suspect that normally standing implies some other measure of activity besides just not-sitting. I would suspect just-standing as you would at a standing desk is better than sitting, if only because of micro-movements involved in remaing standing. But I'm guessing that simply moving to standing desks won't fully erase the bad effects of too much sitting, it'll lessen them to the bad effects of too much just-standing.

Movement is a spectrum, the question here is where is just-standing on that spectrum between sitting and the known-good brisk walk. Also, how do you fit onto that spectrum the known-good and known-bad thresholds?

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.