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Comment: Re:Pinto (Score 2) 207

by Harlequin80 (#49566659) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

It's been 2 years and still when I think about that accident I get upset. No one was seriously hurt (my wife has ongoing back issues) but I had my two girls in the car. The youngest was only 6 weeks old at the time. Because I knew he was going to hit us and how big he was, that when I turned around after the crash I expected both my girls to be dead.

All I can say is thank you to the designers of their car seats and capsule. The top of the boot lid had penetrated the rear windscreen and come a long way into the passenger area. Also the pram in the boot had twisted and rammed one of its supports up through the parcel tray. Amazingly despite all the glass and fragments covering them the only injury they received was friction burns to the inside of my eldest's legs from her seat belt and bruised feet where she kicked the back of my seat.

Comment: Re:Modern approach to car safety is wrong (Score 1) 207

by Harlequin80 (#49566629) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

True - the raw number of traffic accidents is a very hard number to measure. The more minor the traffic accident the more likely it is to never be reported.

However the number of fatalities has, as you said, dramatically dropped. From the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Road fatalities and fatality rates - 1926 to 2008

Australian road fatalities for the period 1926 to 2008 are shown in graph 24.22. Road fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles and 100,000 persons for the same period are shown in graph 24.23. Until 1970, each year other than during the Great Depression and World War 2 had seen a steady growth in motor vehicle ownership and a corresponding increase in road deaths. By 1970 the number of vehicles had increased twelve-fold over the number in 1926 and the road toll had increased about four times to reach its highest mark of 3,798 deaths. The number of fatalities per 100,000 people also peaked in 1970 at 30.4. The road toll in 2008 of 1,464 was around 40% of the 1970 figure, while the number of fatalities per 100,000 people (6.9) for 2008 was slightly less than a quarter of that of 1970. Also, while there were eight road fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles in 1970, this rate has decreased to one in 2008.

Comment: Re:Modern approach to car safety is wrong (Score 1) 207

by Harlequin80 (#49565819) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

Except the number of accidents caused by these systems is lower than the accidents prevented. Every decision you make on a day to day basis is a trade off between two outcome. When you are designing a system, particularly like auto braking you are running the trade off between whether the machine knows better or the human knows better. In many/most cases the machine's response will be an improvement on the human's response.

From your example I'm guessing you have never driven a car with automatic brake systems and tried them out. I have and they kick in REALLY REALLY late. To the point where I was convinced it wasn't going to work. If your car kicks in the automatic brakes the odds are you were going to hit whatever it was in front of you. If that means the tractor trailer then hits you, realistically it was going to anyway.

Obviously there will be cases where the automatic systems make the wrong call and an accident occurs that either wouldn't have or would have been more minor without those systems. But I would suggest the data is heavily skewed towards the systems being a net positive than a negative.

Comment: Re:Pinto (Score 5, Informative) 207

by Harlequin80 (#49565735) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

We had this happen to us. Driving along the pacific highway south from Brisbane we had to brake hard because of debris on the road causing the cars in front to emergency stop. Because of my following distance I didn't have to ABS level brake. Unfortunately the 18 wheeler truck behind me didn't have enough space on me. He hit me still travelling at close to 70kph. The only reason my family and I are alive today is the fact he was unloaded and we were in a very safe car (E Class Mercedes).

The truck driver has been charged with Driving without due care and attention.

Comment: Re:McDonalds nutrition (Score 1) 577

by orasio (#49562499) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

When I go to mac donalds, I get a hamburger and a diet soda (I don't really care for the fries).
Makes sense for me, a 500-600 calorie meal. I't a nice lunch, tastes good (all beef, even MCD, is awesome this side of the world), and even has lettuce and tomato.

A standard McDonalds hamburger does not come with lettuce and tomato. Catsup, mustard, pickle, minced onions. Has 240 calories.

Notice the word "I". When _I_ go, I have a hamburger (type not specified) and a diet soda (also not specified).

The hamburger I get is a McNifica, which, does have lettuce and tomato, alongside a largish patty. Looked it up, 541 kcal (http://www.mcdonalds.com.ar/mcnifica).

In your example, that double big mac has 700 calories.

A Big Mac has 530 calories. Not sure what a double Big Mac is since it isn't a standard part of McDonald's menu. By itself a Big Mac is fine now and then but people rarely eat just a Big Mac. Usually they have some fries and a sugar loaded soft drink too. This easily can get the meal over 1000 calories as you mention which is about half the daily caloric intake for an adult male.

You are missing the point at "usually". The GP was complaining about fat people _omitting_ the sugar, effectively keeping the caloric below insane ranges.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1, Informative) 577

by orasio (#49561311) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Overweight person here, but not from McD.

When I go to mac donalds, I get a hamburger and a diet soda (I don't really care for the fries).
Makes sense for me, a 500-600 calorie meal. I't a nice lunch, tastes good (all beef, even MCD, is awesome this side of the world), and even has lettuce and tomato.

In your example, that double big mac has 700 calories. Not a diet meal, but not that excessive. It even has a lot of lettuce, which is good against blood sugar spikes, esp. a good thing for most fat people. A diet coke is zero cal,, but a large coke in the US add 300 calories, reaching 1000 which is too much for a single meal. You are right that large fries, at 500, are not a good idea, though.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 301

Easy.
You take an old copy from the public domain, invest time and money, make it beautiful, and republish it.
Now, your work is copyrighted.

Some other guy can take an old copy and make it beautiful, but not yours. That's protected by copyright. He would have to invest again. And then compete against you.

So it's even better than in the case of books. With books, after they are in the public domain, it's a free for all, very low barriers to entry. With stuff that needs to be restored, it's even more lucrative for the republisher, because they get a new copyright, less competition.

Also, note that this only covers the 70-90 years of undigitized stuff. Todays works won't need _that_ kind of work done to be republished.

Comment: Such hyperbole in TFS (Score 2) 33

by fyngyrz (#49544657) Attached to: MIT Developing AI To Better Diagnose Cancer

MIT Developing AI To Better Diagnose Cancer

FFS, it's not AI. It's a mindless program. Unthinking software. Data analysis software. Innovative to some degree perhaps, but AI? Hardly. No better than me stumbling in here and calling some DSP code I'd written "AI." Well, except I wouldn't do that. :/

When AI gets here, we'll have to call it something else what with all this crying wolf going on.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 301

Very interesting point, in theory. Luckily, that kind of thing has been studied, and it=s the other way around. Copyrights hinder availability, and entering public domain is an incentive for publishing.
Look at this, it was a study on Amazon availability of books : http://offsettingbehaviour.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/copyright-stagnation.html.
This shows that books seem to get republished as soon as they enter the public domain, and for a long time after that too.

Comment: Re:Apple may outlive Acer - But will they make PCs (Score 1) 417

by Harlequin80 (#49541423) Attached to: We'll Be the Last PC Company Standing, Acer CEO Says

Yes but that doesn't mean they have to build the hardware.

As for your comment about phones I think we are already there. A huge number of people are still using their Samsung S2s and are quite happy. The difference though is life is pretty hard for a phone and you can always tell whose phone is long in the tooth just by the bumps and scrapes. I think this means for most people the 2 year cycle will continue because their phone is battered rather than obsolete.

Comment: Re:ASUS (Score 1) 417

by Harlequin80 (#49541401) Attached to: We'll Be the Last PC Company Standing, Acer CEO Says

Except I hate crap keyboards, crap track pads and small screens. It doesn't matter how good a laptop keyboard is it still sucks next to a decent discrete keyboard.

Yes you can plug external everything into a laptop but then it becomes an expensive version of a desktop. The only exceptions to this are where the laptop comes with a decent docking stations - ala Dell Latitudes. In that instance you still get the advantages of mobility with the ability to have a work place setup.

But even if you do run a docking station desktops are WAY cheaper than laptops. It doesn't matter that laptops are getting better because desktops are getting better too.

You say you are wasting money on a laptop, but if you never move around with your pc you are the one wasting the money. Why pay for a form factor you don't want / need and sacrifice the components inside?

Comment: Re:Apple may outlive Acer - But will they make PCs (Score 1) 417

by Harlequin80 (#49540949) Attached to: We'll Be the Last PC Company Standing, Acer CEO Says

Apple doesn't need to build Mac hardware to use or to do the development. It needs OSX. There is absolutely nothing stopping them from selling their hardware manufacturing arm to someone like ACER and then releasing OSX to the market. Potentially releasing it as a free item in order to increase market penetration. In fact there would be an argument to be made for combining iTunes and OSX into the same package and releasing that to the market.

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