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Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451

by leenks (#49295467) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future
OK, I was a little off according to this study - http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/v... - 1.1 to 1.2 seconds is the average there, but there are other studies that had higher times, and other sources quote much longer, eg http://copradar.com/redlight/f.... Presumably it takes most people significant time to realise what's happening, not panic, then move your right foot from the accelerator to the brake and the left onto the clutch and press down hard.

Comment: Re:Dell (Score 4, Informative) 385

by leenks (#49290027) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

If you want to use a Dell, I would advise to pick one from the "Business" line of products (Lattitude), instead of the "End-User" line (Precision).

Vostro, Latitude and Precision are the business line laptops (in increasing order of build quality / reliability). Inspiron, XPS and Alienware are the end-user / domestic lines (again in increasing order of build quality).

Biotech

New Advance Confines GMOs To the Lab Instead of Living In the Wild 130

Posted by timothy
from the we've-decided-to-put-this-in-everyone dept.
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes In Jurassic Park, scientists tweak dinosaur DNA so that the dinosaurs were lysine-deficient in order to keep them from spreading in the wild. Scientists have taken this one step further as a way to keep genetically modified E. coli from surviving outside the lab. In modifying the bacteria's DNA to thwart escape, two teams altered the genetic code to require amino acids not found in nature. One team modified the genes that coded for proteins crucial to cell functions so that that produced proteins required the presence of the synthetic amino acid in the protein itself. The other team focused on 22 genes deemed essential to a bacterial cell's functions and tied the genes' expression to the presence of synthetic amino acids. For the bacteria to survive, these synthetic amino acids had to be present in the medium on which the bacteria fed. In both cases, the number of escapees was so small as to be undetectable."
Transportation

Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret 823

Posted by timothy
from the mazda-puts-it-right-up-front dept.
HughPickens.com writes Stomp on the gas in a new Ford Mustang or F-150 and you'll hear a meaty, throaty rumble — the same style of roar that Americans have associated with auto power and performance for decades. Now Drew Harwell reports at the Washington Post that the auto industry's dirty little secret is that the engine growl in some of America's best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether. "Fake engine noise has become one of the auto industry's dirty little secrets, with automakers from BMW to Volkswagen turning to a sound-boosting bag of tricks," writes Harwell. "Without them, today's more fuel-efficient engines would sound far quieter and, automakers worry, seemingly less powerful, potentially pushing buyers away." For example Ford sound engineers and developers worked on an "Active Noise Control" system on the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost that amplifies the engine's purr through the car speakers. Afterward, the automaker surveyed members of Mustang fan clubs on which processed "sound concepts" they most enjoyed.

Among purists, the trickery has inspired an identity crisis and cut to the heart of American auto legend. The "aural experience" of a car, they argue, is an intangible that's just as priceless as what's revving under the hood. "For a car guy, it's literally music to hear that thing rumble," says Mike Rhynard, "It's a mind-trick. It's something it's not. And no one wants to be deceived." Other drivers ask if it really matters if the sound is fake? A driver who didn't know the difference might enjoy the thrum and thunder of it nonetheless. Is taking the best part of an eight-cylinder rev and cloaking a better engine with it really, for carmakers, so wrong? "It may be a necessary evil in the eyes of Ford," says Andrew Hard, "but it's sad to think that an iconic muscle car like the Mustang, a car famous for its bellowing, guttural soundtrack, has to fake its engine noise in 2015. Welcome to the future."

Comment: Re:How big a fuss is it, really? (Score 1) 415

by leenks (#48274091) Attached to: How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking
Assuming a decent cable then my Nexus5 will do that when switched off, and almost as quickly in airplane mode. With a crap cable my Nexus5 will take 6 hours when switched off. Apple seem to have better control over how they charge, and the cables, as my previous iPhone5 would nearly always recharge in that time no matter what. I much prefer the Nexus though (and I'm generally an Apple-first guy... prize my Macbook Pro off me at your peril...)

Comment: Re:And this is why Linux will never win the deskto (Score 1) 555

by leenks (#48189749) Attached to: Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork
I suppose turning a Mac on with Command+Option+R pressed down is a little quirky. Not sure of many other machines that will let you reinstall the the OS completely from the Internet even after a hard drive replacement so easily though. And 'update all' on a Linux distro typically updates far more than the operating system - stuff breaks all the time when updating applications on any platform.
Transportation

DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications 261

Posted by Soulskill
from the car-talk dept.
schwit1 sends word that the Dept. of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given notice of a proposal (PDF) for a new car safety standard that would require vehicle-to-vehicle communication equipment in all new passenger cars and light trucks. The NHTSA thinks this will facilitate the development of new safety software for vehicles. They estimate it could prevent over 500,000 crashes (PDF) each year. "Some crash warning V2V applications, like Intersection Movement Assist and Left Turn Assist, rely on V2V-based messages to obtain information to detect and then warn drivers of possible safety risks in situations where other technologies have less capability. ... NHTSA believes that V2V capability will not develop absent regulation, because there would not be any immediate safety benefits for consumers who are early adopters of V2V." The submitter notes that this V2V communication would include transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns.

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