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Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 1) 576

Most excellent. I'm going to presume you'll not go stalking me? I've met a whole bunch of Slashdotters (well, at least a couple dozen) in real life and none of them have yet stalked me or harassed me. In fact, we got along quite well. I see you have me on your "foes" list. I don't mind that, that doesn't bother me at all.

Nah, I don't care who you are -- only if you're persuasive or not. Apparently, at some point in the past I found you to be offensively unpersuasive...

Let me try this and we'll see where it goes. I might as well at least demonstrate that I don't pull numbers out of my ass. I don't know when you where in the industry last but, here's a citation for that figure that I gave you about striping and the value of it:

Ah, that article talks about rural two-lane roads, arterials, freeways, and interstates. Urban collector and local streets are conspicuous by their absence from the article (rural collectors are mentioned, and local streets are mentioned only once to note that they're omitted from a chart).

That's some overzealous marking - and check the signage around Atlanta (around the 285 as I recall?) where they've got signs for everything. Some of them don't even make sense! In the days before GPS was ubiquitous, I once followed seemingly every sign in the area (on and around that bypass) to find a suburb that began with an M... It wasn't Marietta, I know where that is and I remember the name. I followed them all... I turns out, When I wasn't on the bypass, I was missing the correct options to take.

Morrow or Mableton, maybe?

Anyway, I'm from Metro Atlanta and don't get down to the coast very much, so I don't know about the excessive signage on I-95. I certainly know about how the signage stops being adequate when you get off the interstate, but I can't think of any that's wrong on it. I wish you were more specific in that example (and also that you had an example of excessive striping near Atlanta -- or alternatively, a Google Maps link of your example off I-95 so I could see what you're talking about).

Back on topic: it seems to me that the UK's strategy here is to remove striping on the roads that are the least like the ones your link addresses, urban collectors and local streets. In terms of Panama City Beach, think of applying it to places like Front Beach Road -- the part where all the tourist trap stuff is, that's too choked with pedestrians for traffic to move fast anyway -- not US 98 and not highway 30 outside of town. Or for perhaps a better example, whatever streets constitute "downtown" in Panama City itself, assuming it has a downtown.

Or in terms of Atlanta, think of applying it to Peachtree Street in Midtown or Downtown, but not a road like Northside Drive (which, as you can see, is so pedestrian-unfriendly that they have Jersey barriers to keep people from trying to cross).

Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 1) 576

Why is it salient as to what I might recommend? Well, that's up to you to judge but I was paid quite handsomely to do exactly that, and more, prior to selling and retiring. This is, quite specifically, something my company would have done. Well, they still do it - I'm just no longer the owner. They're still quite successful at it. I didn't do it on my own but I was kind of "the guy" who brought the industry forward to where we were modeling traffic fairly well and with increased accuracy - on a computer. (Those three words, again...) So, you can weight my opinion based on that, if you want.

I'm actually quite familiar with the motive, method, and use-case for this sort of change in traffic patterns. They are doing this on low-speed, bi-directional, surface streets and rural lanes. That doesn't make it safe. Painted lines actually have a return on investment. That return includes safety.

I can't quite the UK estimates (they're probably similar) but a study from 1993 (so likely higher now) indicates that the estimate is that a single dollar spent on painting lines is worth $60 in realized value through increased safety, productivity, etc... And, obviously, that's subject to the Law of Diminishing Returns. There's a point where too many lines is not helping a damned thing (I'm looking at you Georgia) and the number is based on best-practices at the time. It's probably higher today than it was, it had been trending up for some time and those are unadjusted figures.

As a former traffic engineer (now software engineer) in Georgia, I'd love for you to elaborate on this.

Comment Re:don't believe his lies (Score 1) 153

to avoid lockout, have machines emulate the phone and try every combination to unlock the phone (difficulty: developer)

It's not that it's difficult, it's just that it requires more time than the heat death of the universe to execute.

I don't deny the FBI director's assertion that they were unable to decrypt the phone; I deny his assertion that their failure constitutes any kind of problem.

Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 1) 576

The difference doesn't come from whether the line actually exists or not; the difference comes from the fact that when you remove the line, cars are no longer prohibited from driving across where it was. In other words, drivers slow down because they might have to yield to oncoming traffic where they didn't before. It turns the street into something closer to a shared space.

Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 1) 576

I'd expect drivers are slowing down because the road is less safe without the lines, and are adjusting their speed to reclaim that lost safety factor. So they are making a somewhat arbitrary adjustment to reduce road safety, so that people respond by making an equally arbitrary counter-adjustment. How they figure +x-y ends up being a lower value when x and y are completely unknown, is astonishing.

It's counter-intuitive, but it works.

More to the point, we're talking about urban streets here, not rural highways. The change in drivers' safety mostly cancels out, but pedestrians and cyclists get a net increase in safety from the lower automobile speeds.

Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 1) 576

The second thing I'll say is that I'd need some SERIOUS consideration before I'd recommend this step in any locale. I would want to see a whole lot of proof before I recommended anyone removing center line markings, at least not not systematically. There are a couple of areas where I can see not adding them if they do not already exist. (And I'd be unlikely to have been consulted on such a route.) If you want to go for maximum safety, should space and budget allow, then a few meridian design options are known to be the safest division.

If the width of the entire paved surface is smaller than two minimal sized lanes, I'd suggest not painting a center line if it does not already exist. However, center-lane *and* outer-lane markings are ideal, where applicable and in the US. I'd have to dredge up some very old paperwork (and it's probably on paper) to offer an opinion about that aspect specifically for the UK. But, I'd need to see a whole lot of research and evidence before I recommended that this be done - and the burden of proof increases greatly in order to recommend this as a unilateral change.

If you read the article, you'll see that they're talking about removing center lane markings on urban streets, not rural highways. In other words, we're talking about low-speed designs with a lot of driveways and intersections, restricted sight lines, and many non-automobile road users (i.e., cyclists and pedestrians). US-style divided highways with wide lanes are a wholly inappropriate solution for such situations because they are designed to be safe for cars traveling at high speed, to the exclusion of everything else. In contrast, in urban areas "worse is better" because making drivers "feel" unsafe causes them to slow down and drive more carefully, increasing safety for the cyclists and pedestrians.

Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 1) 576

GPS is not necessary (and more pointedly, lack of GPS is not an excuse!). The road was built and striped initially using traditional surveying techniques; there's no reason the people doing the re-striping couldn't refer back to the original plans, measure, and do their jobs properly. The only explanations for changing the lane markings during re-striping are (a) deliberate intent or (b) incompetence.

Comment Re:another obstacle for HSR in USA? (Score 1) 216

It works great in Japan and Europe where towns are closer together.

That makes no sense--with high speed rail, you want fewer stops and longer runs, not stops that are close together. One of the challenges is that every town with rail running through it wants the HSR to stop there. Once it does, it's not "high speed" anymore.

Comment Re:hyperloop without the hyper or loop (Score 4, Insightful) 216

First off, you do make some good points (especially with regard to the utility of having the station in the city center, instead of a 30-60 minute drive outside of town), but, that said, you're also oversimplifying things. Probably the most egregious example is to suggest that building the hyperloop replaces the cost of two airline terminals (especially using JFK as a model). JFK serves dozens, if not hundreds, of discrete destinations, while the hyperloop serves two. Worse, the hyperloop destinations are only a few hundred miles apart. JFK has flights to six continents. In other words, unless you are advocating replacing all air travel with hyperloop style transport (something that would cost several orders of magnitude more than the short range test project) you are comparing apples to oranges.

Lastly, you are looking at sunk costs vs new investments. It's not "we can pay for the hyperloop instead of the airport" because the airport already exists.

Comment Re:What's a DLL? (Score 1) 151

That's because it's only a vulnerability in retrospect -- it was intended as a feature.

(Linux shared libraries -- the fact that every application can use the same copy of, say, GTK instead of having to replicate it -- are the same kind of deal.)

I haven't read the article, but I suppose the countermeasure is that DLLs should be signed or have hashes checked before loading or something like that.

Comment Re:Batteries just don't store enough energy... (Score 3, Interesting) 345

Electric air planes with lithium-air batteries would weigh the same at landing as they do at takeoff whereas a 747 loses around a quarter of it's weight en-route.

It is even worse then that. Li-Air batteries absorb oxygen as they release electricity. They get heavier the lower the electric charge. The only possible advantage is that they are lightest when they require the most power - take-off.

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