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Comment: Re:Control Freak (Score 1) 449

You and me, both. The only thing I let my car do is run on cruise control, and even then only for the (too) long stretches of Indiana. I love the feeling of rowing my own gears. It provides a nice reminder that driving is not a video game. I absolutely hate that cars are trying to insulate their occupants more and more from the fact that driving can be dangerous if not done with great care.

Comment: Re:Why not just ignore people who break the law? (Score 1) 203

The United States is not a contracting party of the Geneva (not Genova) Convention on Road Traffic. Therefore, yes, they can pass and enforce that law. That doesn't make it a good law, mind you, but since we aren't a part of that treaty, its terms mean diddly-squat to us.

Comment: Re:national 55mph limit saved gas (Score 1) 984

by himurabattousai (#43143701) Attached to: Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Maximum_Speed_Law#Opposition_and_noncompliance

This hardly looks like the picture of obeying the law. For fun, scroll up a few lines to the little blurb on how little fuel (by percentage) was actually saved -- due, of course, to non-compliance.

Yes, there was a one-time drop in fatalities, due to fewer drivers and fewer miles driven. After that, the rate stayed lower than before, even as 55 was widely ignored. And, of course, once the limits went back to sensible (especially for today's far safer cars) levels, the rate didn't return to pre-1973 levels, even though cars were still primitive by our safety standards.

Also, check out the danger of non-uniform speeds, especially on high-limit roads. I know it's been said here before, and not that far from this post, but doing 55 in a 75 zone in normal conditions is dangerous and borderline suicidal.

Comment: Re:Another outbreak of common sense! (Score 5, Interesting) 984

by himurabattousai (#43137917) Attached to: Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

2. Is it to blindly uphold the law, irrespective of safety?

Please cite one proven example where going faster is in the interest of safety.

Since you asked: http://www.uctc.net/papers/069.pdf

Interstate Highways in the U.S. have rather strict design standards, especially relating to the intended rate of travel. Any and all improvements in the fatality rate on American roads during the dark days of the double-nickel limit can be attributed to factors other than the lower limit. Why? No one obeyed that limit because it was stupid.

In fact, it was worse than stupid. It was dangerous. An artificially low speed limit actually forces the brain to work harder because of the mismatch between expected and actual sensory inputs. In other words, it can be as taxing, if not possibly more so, on the mind to drive too slow than too fast. Unconsciously, you know how long it should take to get from A to B, given nothing but the physical characteristics of the roadway. Deviate too much from that, and reconciling what is with what should be is far less safe than driving in accordance with what the roadway is set up to allow.

Additionally, artificially low limits on superhighways tends to overload other streets, which tend to NOT be designed for long-distance travel. This, too, was an unintended consequence of the NMSL. That, however, is for a different discussion.

Comment: Re:Kid's artwork? (Score 3, Interesting) 351

Things like the double-nickel NMSL that was, thankfully, discarded in the mid nineties, the .08 BAC limit, or the legal drinking age of 21 years, all which were adopted nationwide as the result of coercion from the Feds, are the perfect car analogy for this situation. A majority of the states have highway speed limits of 70+. No federal highway dollars are currently tied to speed limits, just as no federal education dollars should be tied to dysfunctional standardized testing. In fact, the current model of taking away money due to poor testing performance practically guarantees that bad schools will remain bad. I'm not saying that money is the solution to every problem in our schools, but the proper application of sufficient funds can make a difference.

Comment: Huge waste of money (Score 1) 331

by himurabattousai (#41528443) Attached to: A Honda Civic With no Gas Tank (Video)
The summary says that this Civic-turned-EV cost two years and fourteen thousand dollars. Then, it says that it's no comparison to a Tesla S, but to keep in mind the difference in costs. So, let us do just that. Homebrew Civic EV: 45 miles per charge. Old, possibly structurally unsound body. No warranty. Seats 4 or 5. Acceleration is probably worse than the original car's lackluster performance. Possible voiding of homeowner's insurance (should something go wrong while charging). Cost -- $14,000 plus two years' time. Tesla S (60kWh): 220 miles per charge. New car with warranty. Safer body to meet modern crash standards. Seats 5 to 7. Sub-6 seconds to 60. Cost -- $60,000. The summary is right. There is no comparison between the two cars. The Tesla is not only a better car, but it's a better use of his money and time. It is more than five times the car for four times the money. Other than the street cred one gets for driving a sub-standard homebrew EV (if that gets you any in his circles), I can't see any justification for the time and money he pissed away.

Comment: Re:Scanning versus storage (Score 1) 295

Mostly correct. The system was originally titled "National System of Interstate Highways." When it was conceived and passed into law (in 1956), the primary focus was on civilian movement and trucking. The words "and Defense" were added to take advantage of Cold War mania.

The Department of Defense, however, has had a great deal of input into construction standards for the highways, specifically with regards to minimum overhead clearance. Original standards for things like overpasses was set to fourteen feet, but the military wanted a higher clearance to allow for heavy equipment transport. Today, the minimum clearance is sixteen feet, and the DoD is a part of any reconstruction project that involves raising old bridges to meet the current standard.

Also, if you've ever wondered why Interstates are mostly below-grade, the potential for military equipment transport is part of the reason why. The other is that it's far cheaper to build a two-lane bridge than a six-lane one.

Comment: Seriously?? (Score -1, Redundant) 302

by himurabattousai (#40006673) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Skype Setup For Toddler's Room?
This is the your big concern?

Three-year-olds shouldn't be using Skype at all, and most certainly not unattended. If you're tired of holding the laptop for her, then don't use Skype. It is okay to say "no."

Help her get an actual social life. She'll benefit far more than by talking to the moving pictures on the laptop. In fact, I'd guess she may not even know the difference between the stimulus provided by the laptop and the television.

Comment: Interesting tidbit (Score 1) 536

by himurabattousai (#38063796) Attached to: DOJ: Violating a Site's ToS Is a Crime

From the article:

Stewart Baker, an attorney at Steptoe and Johnson who was previously a Homeland Security assistant secretary and general counsel at the National Security Agency, has suggested that the administration's proposals to expand CFAA are Draconian.

Before you dismiss this as a "no shit" statement, keep in mind that the Mr. Baker was previously employed by Homeland Security and the NSA -- two organizations not known for their even-handedness and promotion of actual freedom and justice. For someone who may have been employed by the very same Presidential Administration seeking to expand the reach of the CFAA to be this blunt is amazing. I sincerely hope that our "leaders" keep that in mind.

Comment: Re:Tacos for dinner (Score 1) 735

by himurabattousai (#37645252) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

I agree, but I'll take it one step further.

You've received a job offer for seven thousand pounds more than you are making right now for doing the same job. That is not just "come work for me" money. That is a sign that you have outgrown your current job. Recognizing that is important because your current employer probably already knows it. At this point, I see the only way of you keeping your current job is to not give any indication to your boss that you know you have outgrown your current job.

If you go into your boss's office and ask for that kind of a raise, he will know that you're aware of the situation. Once that happens, your days are numbered. Remember that this is a company that is already outsourcing its positions. They have shown where their loyalties lie, and it's not with their employees. It's with money.

It sounds like the new opportunity has a lot to offer that you can't get where you are now. Investigate and if it's really all it seems to be, go for it. If your relationship with your co-workers is what you believe it to be, then they'll support you.

You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers. -- Steven Feiner

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