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

by rworne (#48703129) Attached to: Out With the Red-Light Cameras, In With the Speeding Cameras

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

by rworne (#48703081) Attached to: Out With the Red-Light Cameras, In With the Speeding Cameras

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

by rworne (#48703019) Attached to: Out With the Red-Light Cameras, In With the Speeding Cameras

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

by rworne (#48240613) Attached to: "Police Detector" Monitors Emergency Radio Transmissions

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.

Comment: Re:FaceTime (Score 1) 194

by rworne (#47595655) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

Shh, this isn't about the solution its about forcing more Apple shit into the market. So what if it isolates people from their families, at least the Appleites are getting some more fuel for their religion.

I have dealt with Apple crap through a number of MDMs including their own PoS offering and while they can work it takes a ton of effort to get around all the stupid nonsence. Kiosk mode Skype probably would work.

To the idiot who was complaining that the tv would have too many cables then recommended plugging in the ipad to a sound system and a TV perhaps an all in one device with all that would work better. I'm sure they have nurses too so either solution would probably work fine depending on them.

Oh please.

Two iPad 2's in the minimal-cost configuration (16GB WiFi). It's probably the same price or cheaper than any other stand-alone videoconferencing solution and dead simple to implement with no PC to maintain or complex wiring. Plus it's portable and considering the relative fragility of the devices if dropped, you can get cases for them that are ruggedized to withstand drops.

It's not about shilling more Apple products, it's about suggesting something that works for the given situation.

Comment: Re:FaceTime (Score 4, Insightful) 194

by rworne (#47593707) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

For distant relatives that were not tech savvy, I did this. Worked very well over the years with several times a week usage. The iPad 2 that was left there was loaded with iOS 5 and was not able to do the on-air updates Apple pushes out now.

It worked fine until I had a chance to visit at the end of last year where I updated it to iOS 7 and the latest everything. Still works.

This is about as bulletproof as you can get. Even the UI (once FaceTime is set up properly) is easy to manage. It chimes with the name of the caller, swipe and you are talking.

Added bonuses are:
Lots of people already own Apple devices, so they have everything they need.
You can use the lowest model offered by Apple (iPad 2, non-retina mini) to keep the costs down as much as possible.
Devices can be locked down as much as desired
Development costs are cheap, you can get a dev license for $99 and roll out your own app ad-hoc (but you will have to renew and redeploy once a year before the dev cert expires). Still, no app is really necessary.

Comment: Re:But phone is a good thing too (Score 2) 120

by rworne (#47585071) Attached to: Hotel Chain Plans Phone-Based Check-in and Room Access

They have them in Japan too. The love hotels, where couples go for a few hours of "together time". In the western-themed room, Tarzan-themed room, or the UFO-themed room.

Visiting a clerk is considered embarrassing for the couple, so the check in process is automated.- pick your theme off a display (lit themes are available) pay and go to the room.* They've been doing this for 20+ years now.

* Some ways to pay are truly automated, others are more old fashioned where the clerk is obscured. Anyhow, there is a person *somewhere* with the finger on the "not welcome here" button if they don't like who they see in the lobby on the CCTV.

Comment: Re:Airlines To Blame (Score 1) 128

by rworne (#47373965) Attached to: FAA's Ruling On Smartphones During Takeoff Has Had Little Impact

That hellhole airline do you fly?

I've done ANA ( LAX-HND), United and Lufthansa (LAX-FRT, LAX-MUC) and never had an issue with the flight crew nor have I seen abusive behavior by them towards any passenger. And yes, I did say United. I have seen plenty of a-hole passengers though. I refuse to take the FRT-LAX run on Lufthansa now due to the codeshare they have with a SE asian airline that usually packs the plane. The behavior of a lot of the passengers on that flight is simply appalling.

Comment: Re:If they approve allowing calls on planes... (Score 2) 128

by rworne (#47373929) Attached to: FAA's Ruling On Smartphones During Takeoff Has Had Little Impact

In Japan I was expecting the trains would be horrible - in the tech-crazed society, everyone would have a phone...

Much to my surprise, the trains have posted notices that tell passengers to mute their phones and refrain from talking. If you are by the seats reserved for the elderly or disabled, you are required to turn your phone off. In the latter case I never saw anyone do that - but they did not take out their phone and play with them.

On the last trip, my wife got a call while on the train. She quietly told the other party that we had arrived in country and would be there soon and hung up. I was sitting next to her and could barely hear her speak. The other passengers in the car were staring daggers at her.

On the trains no one talks on the phone. Though everyone uses them for chat, games, reading, and the occasional creepshot.

Comment: Re:If they approve allowing calls on planes... (Score 4, Informative) 128

by rworne (#47373897) Attached to: FAA's Ruling On Smartphones During Takeoff Has Had Little Impact

Several airlines now have in-flight WiFi and while the bandwidth is crappy, you could use it for VOIP. The two airlines I have flown on that have this (Lufthansa and United) both expressly forbid the use of Skype and voice apps for the very reason you state - it annoys other passengers.

Here's what Lufthansa has to say about it:

The option of making mobile phone calls has been disabled in response to the wishes of a majority of our customers. In addition, customers are advised that Internet telephony (VOIP) is likewise not permitted.

And United:

It is against United policy to allow videoconferencing or voice communications in flight. Live video and Internet streaming services are not supported.

I have the same concerns you do, but this is one thing the airlines so far have gotten right.

Comment: Re:Commodore Amiga 3000T (Score 1) 702

by rworne (#46791207) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Odd Sony is mentioned. We have a Vaio sub-notebook built in 1999 that still runs like a champ. The battery is shot and there's no replacements to be found, but it does the job as long as you are willing to put up with Windows 2000 (it shipped with Windows 98SE). We have two Sony alarm clocks going on 10 years that are still going strong.

My 1st gen PS3 dies every year like clockwork, with Sony happy to fix/replace it for a fee.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming