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Comment: Re:Holy war? (Score 1) 152 152

There is one significant difference.

While I never owned an Aibo, I do have several Roombas. The Roomba lacks one thing Sony put an effort into with the Aibo - a programmed personality put in something that looks like what most people would be attached to: a cute clumsy puppy. This is much more amusing to interact with than a hockey-puck shaped noisemaker that zig-zags around the room bumping into things like a drunk sailor. The Roomba has the personalty of a soap dish, but I do have to admit it is sometimes entertaining watching one work its way out of a tight spot.

The Aibo is designed to interact socially with humans, the Roomba is designed to clean your carpet. It all depends on your use case as to which is better.

Comment: Re:$30 (Score 1) 515 515

Ah, Munich. In 2014 you can still get a day pass for about 8 euro that covers the city. Less than 20 euro will get you the same pass with transportation to/from the airport included.

You cannot compare that city's public transit system with that of Los Angeles or San Francisco. Munich is light years ahead of the US. Unless you have to take the U6 when Bayern Munchen is playing, then it just plain sucks.

Comment: Re:Close to owning (Score 1) 374 374

The egg only has 50% of her DNA, so it's not her body.

Let's make it more simple:

The human body has 46 chromosomes. 23 from the man and 23 from the woman. If the pre-embryo is female, one pair is XX. Male is XY.

So, if the pre-embryo is a female, then it's a 50-50 split. If male, then about 49.5% of the pre-embryo is his and 50.5% is the woman's - based on the presumption that there is less genetic material in a Y chromosome compared to an X. Therefore, she has a majority stake at best (XY) and an even split at worst (XX).

Then again, there's mitochondrial DNA which is solely provided by the female, that would probably put ownership in the woman's court in all cases except for the following situation:

Things get muddied when you have some pre-embryos with multiple X or Y chromosomes. One would have to find out which parent they came from first. XYY syndrome - father has majority rights. XXX syndrome, one would have to determine which parent's reproductive process malfunctioned before assigning parental rights.

Comment: Re:Energy use (Score 3, Insightful) 332 332

They had a nuclear power plant in San Diego. San Onofre.

They're shutting it down instead of refitting/repairing it because the operators figured there would be too much trouble jumping regulatory hurdles and endless delays from the government and environmental groups that had little interest in, or were openly hostile to letting the plant operate.

Comment: Re:There's This Little Thing Called the Constituti (Score 1) 306 306

You missed the part: who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state .

One would have to be in the state that forbids the activity, commit the crime and flee to another state.

Then you can be extradited.

Otherwise Texas would be busy nabbing everyone in the U.S. who orders stuff from Bad Dragon.

Comment: Re:Confirmed! (Score 2) 82 82

They have an opt-in program. It's called "Verizon Selects".

Basically, it's a points-based award program that "rewards" you for letting them monitor your location, app usage, and web browsing activity on your phone.

But why is this opt-in and the super cookie business opt-out?

Simple. In the selects program, they "pay" you with gift cards or merchandise. With the super cookie, Verizon gets your browsing for free.

Comment: Re:Are speed cameras bad? (Score 1) 335 335

What you say is true, but drivers who are aware of the camera also won't trust the yellow even if it is properly timed. So if in a non-camera intersection you get caught by a yellow you can breeze easily through safely. A driver aware of a camera won't trust the yellow and will slam on the brakes the moment he sees the light change. Take the driver behind him who is a tourist or someone else who may not be aware of the camera. That's a recipe for a rear-ender.

Comment: Re:Are speed cameras bad? (Score 1) 335 335

What bugs me are the cameras at toll booths that take your picture for no reason. Every toll booth I've seen in recent months I've noticed takes my picture. Just what the fuck is that about? If a person takes my picture... ok, 1st Amendment protects them. But why is a government agency taking pictures of every single toll booth transaction? How could that much data possibly be useful for the purpose of policing toll booths? Why can't they just take pictures of the drivers that don't pay?

Here's a good conspiracy theory:

Where do you think all the faces to seed/test the database for the facial recognition SW the feds are working on?

They know the car by the plate number. They know the owner by the registration. They have the owner's picture in a DMV database. Now they have tons of crappy real-world images to try to match with a known person where the person in the photo is likely to be the owner. Great for testing out the system.

They already use toll transponders to track vehicles. This isn't too far of a stretch.

Comment: Re:I might have agreed, BUT (Score 2) 335 335

Holy crap. Tickets for speed cameras in Baltimore/Maryland are in the $40-50 range?

If Los Angeles ever starts using them, I'm looking at nearly 10x that amount. Red light camera tickets were $490, and a typical speeding ticket (15 over) is about $240. The fine itself is just $35 ($70 in a construction zone), the other $205 are "fees". If a 3rd party company is operating them, the city just increases the cost of the ticket to cover the operator's share.

Comment: Re:its counterpart in america: (Score 1) 215 215

Back in the US it existed as far back as 1991. Back then I had a product called a K-40 "Chipsradar". What it did (aside from being a normal radar detector) was detect the handheld radio frequency of the CHP walkie-talkies (1-2 mile range) that linked up with the cars that relayed the transmissions to the station and used the signal strength as a proximity detector. It worked beautifully sniffing out speed traps since at the time CHP did not use radar all that much and would just hide on or behind overpasses looking for speeders.

It was exactly the same thing as the "Beartracker" you mention. That was also available back in the 1990's.

May Euell Gibbons eat your only copy of the manual!