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Comment: Re:Ghost in the machine (Score 1) 128

by havardi (#47134679) Attached to: Ford's Bringing Adaptive Steering To the Masses

Hydraulic isn't much different. A blocked port in the rack and pinion can send the wheel spinning wildly in one direction. Happened to my brother's old Volvo. The wheel would damn-near tear your arm off and try to send you into oncoming traffic. There are a lot of ways to build in saftey. I was impressed with recent brake-pedal light switches. My oldest car was one wire that completed a ground loop. If the switch failed you'd never know. My next car it was two wires. My newest car is three wires, and the plunger switch always opens one circuit and closes the other. With three wires the computer can sense a defective switch if the switch is ever in an open/open or closed/closed situation. In fact the computer logic allows *some* brief amounts of this situation simply to account for inaccuracies in the switch itself. So, things do get better.

Comment: not likely (Score 1) 865

by havardi (#46925737) Attached to: Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

"Eventually, drivers will be expected to download and install car software patches themselves."

I can hardly see that happening. You'll need a valid support and maintenance contract and the patches will be downloaded automatically or you'll have to visit an authorized service center if the downloads fail for some reason.

Comment: uncertainty of death? (Score 1) 75

by havardi (#37590304) Attached to: 3 Share Nobel Prize In Medicine For Immune System Work

Perhaps Steinman wasn't certainly dead until the committee was informed of which world they were now in (the world where Steinman died on Friday), and therefore the normal rules of the award don't need to be broken to give him the prize. That is, when the committee made the announcement, Steinman was both dead and alive? I'm conflating theories, I know, but please understand I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Comment: SRP (southwest U.S) is doing this (free) (Score 1) 58

by havardi (#36979722) Attached to: Monitor Household Energy From Your Smartphone

Well, not up to the minute, but just last month they added daily usage graphs with on-peak and off-peak as well as average temperature. You can see yesterday's usage. You can also let it calculate your next bill based on partial usage. So, you may not want to drop hundreds of dollars on this if your local power company has the data and is willing to share...

Comment: Crappy Speakers? (Score 1) 59

by havardi (#36768370) Attached to: Acoustic Superlens Built From Soda Cans

Here's a tip: those speakers suck. I just tossed a pair because the left speaker was about half as loud as the right speaker. Don't believe me? http://www.google.com/search?q=logitech+speaker+left+not+working

I only mention this because I would think with a scientific experiment like this, speaker volume consistency would be VERY important...

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.

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