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Comment: Re:2 Words (Score 1) 810

by janimal (#45501445) Attached to: Electric Cars: Drivers Love 'Em, So Why Are Sales Still Low?

This is ridiculous. You might need more power to maintain speed, but peak power is consumed while accellerating, which cannot be brisk on snow or ice. And peak power is what we're talking about here; not cruising power.

You cannot use more peak power in the winter. Even on clear pavement, you get less traction with most tires, end of story.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 3, Insightful) 164

by janimal (#45172365) Attached to: Advances In Cinema Tech Overcoming a Strange Racial Divide

Agreed. Implying a racial bias here is a crock. If film is racially biased, so are our eyes. Specifically, when I'm driving at night in a certain predominantly indian country, the poor bastards on the side of the road wearing black with dark skin are friggn hard to see. Clearly this has to do with my eyes being biased against dark clothed and skinned poor people.

If you want to solve the dark skin problem in shooting pictures, you have to develop some fantastic dynamic range on your capture device. Modern DSLRs are better than film ever was, but you still should do a bit of post processing to bring out the shadows. Perhaps NOW is the time to "racially tune" photography, since it became at all possible.

Comment: Re:You've met many more than you know (Score 1) 668

by janimal (#45172199) Attached to: A Ray of Hope For Americans and Scientific Literacy?

Argument by innuendo right here.

Unfortunately, there will be supporters of all types for the party and SuperKendall's idea of who the tea party should be has been successfully hijacked by its enemies and tea partiers probably do include a lot of idiots by now both as supporters and as members. Sorry SuperKendall, but you have bigger hill to climb than you thought was possible.

Comment: Re:You've met many more than you know (Score 3, Insightful) 668

by janimal (#45172143) Attached to: A Ray of Hope For Americans and Scientific Literacy?

You have to differentiate between party heads and supporters. Among supporters of any party are all kind of cooks, who happen to think that the particular party will get their issues resolved. I don't know much about tea partiers, because I don't live in the US and never have except for a brief 4 month period, but I'll draw a parallel with a situation I do know:

A certain party that is economically conservative, anti-corruption, and socially liberal is being flambasted by mainstream media for being populist, ultra-conservative, and destructive. It's a long discussion on why it is so, but you'll have to trust me on this, because my point is what follows. Because this party was marginalized by mainstream media and mainstream politicians and big business (hint: they really are anti-corruption), the marginalized elements of society who are indeed ultraconservative socially and feel marginalized ended up being the strongest supporters of this party as a social group. These ultracons really are quite dumb, but they have noone else to vote for and they really want to vote for someone, because they're undeniably patriotic.

My evidence for the party being socially liberal is that when it was in power and could easily ban all types of abortion (as its ultra-conservative constituent would like), it did not. And it did this to such an extent that it tolerated a number of MPs leaving the party to form a new socially ultraconservative party based on this abortion issue alone. My conclusion on this is that when media manipulate the image a political movement wants to project, they end up recruiting for that movement a group of people who identify with the marginal viewpoints while deterring the ones who really should be supporting the movement. This actually mutates the movement and renders it sterile. It's sad, but mainstream politics and media probably know very well that they are doing this and they will continue to do it.

If you want some hints on where I have my example from, I'll tell you that the current party leader's brother died in a plane crash while serving as president of the country.

Comment: Re:wtf (Score 1) 662

by janimal (#44040735) Attached to: Supreme Court Decides Your Silence May Be Used Against You

I think you're confusing what is criminal, and what is civil liability. Violating an NDA will not send you to jail, unless you are spying. You are allowed to do it without fear of persecution by the government. Now what you decided that will cost you is another matter.
Freedom of speech lets you say whatever you want and not be criminally liable for it (hopefully), but it does not give you the freedom to slander, for example.

Comment: Re:Selective breeding, not evolution (Score 5, Informative) 315

by janimal (#43809267) Attached to: Cockroaches Evolving To Avoid Roach Motels

I just can't believe how many such comments I'm seeing here. Where are the nerds?!

Selective breeding is based on positive feedback, where a human being selects the specimens with a desired trait and breeds them to get more of the same trait in the next generation. That's how you get house pets that do not stand a chance of survival in the wild.

What happened with the cockroaches is the same process conducted by mother nature; only the surviving ones can breed.

Now, here's the kicker for all of you high school dropouts. Both cases are essentially evolution according to the definition in wikipedia.

Comment: Could this evidence have been planted? (Score 1) 195

by janimal (#43729641) Attached to: Russia Captures Alleged American CIA Agent In Moscow

The equipment looks pretty lame, although I'm no expert at what is effective in avoiding surveillance or implication.

What I wonder is if the FSB thought this guy was a spy and found no evidence (which is likely), but wanted to expel him (which is reasonable), why would the FSB not plant some grotesquely obvious evidence during the arrest? Would the CIA complain? How would they prove anything?

It would be more likely the US would complain about an unjustified request for deportation, meanwhile this is an open and shut case.

Comment: Re:I could be wrong but.... (Score 2) 179

by janimal (#43511421) Attached to: Utility Box Exposed As Spy Cabinet In the Netherlands

It's sad, if so many actually do. 1984 was just barely fiction, when it was written. It was thinly veiled Stalinist USSR and many other places. Getting to a 1984 state of things is easier than you might imagine, and the moment you think it's absurd is the moment a bunch of goons will succeed in trapping you in just such a system.

I wouldn't draw conclusions based on some cameras beside the road, as covert surveillance is nothing new. What has me worried is ubiquitous surveillance in the hands of a few. The infrastructure for that is already in place. The battle for freedom is in the courtrooms and legistlatures. Slashdot is already on top of this one though.

As it stands, this story is uninteresting, unless technical details of this box were revealed to be unique in some way.

Comment: Re:Taxis first (Score 1) 352

by janimal (#43467591) Attached to: Why Self-Driving Cars Are Still a Long Way Down the Road

Driving straight is not the challenge. The failure mode is much more severe on a highway, and extreme conditions are probably just as difficult to manage for an autopilot as city traffic, if not more. For example, what does the AP do when
- the car hits a big pothole and perhaps blows a tire? There's too little time for a human to take over. Sometimes you need to make a choice, whether to stop abruptly or not.
- lane markings disappear because of prior construction? Construction detour?
- truck blows a tire in front of you? (happened to me twice)
- some animal/idiot wanders into the road? Hint: avoid is a better maneuver than hitting and holding the brakes. You don't want to stop dead on a highway.

Give me city traffic with a 50km/h speed limit any day.

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