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Comment: Re:Because This Worked Out So Well for the 3DS/Wii (Score 1) 15

You don't understand what Tango is. This is not just gyro-based control. The cameras on the back of the unit are mapping out the space visually so that they sense position and movement in a highly detailed way. Tango is capable of real-time understanding of the geometry of the room and whole building it is in as it can see it. Gyro input may also be used, but is secondary to the visual input. Look closer next time.

Comment: Old anti-lock can cause accidents (Score 1) 304

by sdw (#48896307) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

I crashed and totaled my 2004 Mazda RX-8 about 18 months ago. A vehicle changed to my lane on the highway, then had to do a panic stop from 70mph to stopped. The normally amazing RX-8 brakes (and I had the high end braking package) failed in that circumstance. I had to do maximum braking. Anti-lock backed it off from a skid but never kicked back in. I rolled into the stopped vehicle in front of me at 30-40mph. You could see evidence on the road behind me: just a six inch skid, then nothing.

It would be good to handle more cases like this rather than the old methods of doing poorly in some braking (like here) to help people not good in snow.

Comment: Re:Felonies even if the FBI did'em (Score 1) 168

by sdw (#43407915) Attached to: FBI's Smartphone Surveillance Tool Explained In Court Battle

Based on the statements related above about the judge insisting that the order did not authorize this, this does seem like Verizon and the FBI committed offenses here, probably felony unauthorized access to a computing system and others. Regardless of the outcome of this case, if it were me I would file civil and criminal charges.

Comment: Re:Google Apps (Score 1) 210

by sdw (#42144425) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best File System For Web Hosting?

Yes, I have been running my own mail / web server since 1992. As soon as something is more reliable than that, I might consider switching to it. ;-)

My email archive is about 30GB last I checked. Fully backed up. Very fast to search.

Maildirs are dumb. Imap to mbox folders are the way to go. I roll them over at 200MB. With Thunderbird caching and a good Imap server indexing, it is faster than any available email service.

Of course Thunderbird is great with Gmail, AOL, and too.

Comment: Re:Whoever is responsible for this article (Score 1) 1258

by sdw (#39841253) Attached to: Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief

"Logic is a system whereby one may go wrong with confidence."
While less intelligent (or often just less applied) people might decide to believe anything, it is the intelligent, applied types that can, if they make a few mistakes, really hit the slippery slopes of irrationality with a vengeance. If you're good at argument and rationalizing and have a good imagination, but are weak in the scientific principle or critical thinking, you might be a religious lunatic soon.

However, for those properly educated and lacking those mistakes or equivalent childhood inculcation that sticks too much, more education, especially about critical thinking, science, and religion itself, seems to strongly push towards rationality.

Comment: Pro-se competency should be the rule (Score 5, Interesting) 897

by sdw (#39334277) Attached to: How To Crash the US Justice System: Demand a Trial

I let many companies and people abuse me because I couldn't afford time or attorneys to take them to court. Then I turned my attention to learning enough to be competent enough to put a stop to that. Way overdue.

People should be comfortable representing themselves more. Perhaps not for a crucial criminal trial, but for everything else it should be considered. Basics of the legal system and navigating it should be taught in high school. The fact is that you can combat many opponents well if it costs you next to nothing and they feel they have to pay a lot for attorneys. True to some extent even for well-funded opponents in some circumstances. A major problem is that a lot of information, like process / procedures / formats, is hidden, but you can get it eventually.

I've successfully run a couple civil actions and successfully contested a couple low-level parking / traffic tickets. I just appealed one in California Appellate court, raising some interesting (to me) constitutional issues. (Waiting for my loss letter...) Good to do A) to work out the details of the process, B) to learn the law better, and C) protest annoying and not-helping-safety/society abuse of laws to meet a quota. I even recently figured out the details of filing citizen's arrest requests to maximally complain about a very dangerous, and illegal, maneuver of a CHP to give someone a speeding ticket. The officer was the only unsafe driver I saw between SF and SJ. (Next time, I'll get positive ID.)

In California, additional "fees" were added to traffic tickets that make a typical speeding ticket >$500 and really minor infractions start at $240. That's enough to be worth contesting at every point. In fact, it may be enough to change the rules of evidence in some cases.

I need to populate my pro-se site soon with some of these as examples, if people are interested.
And yes, I want to attack the overbroad "unlicensed practice of law" statutes that exist in 49 states. Of course you can't fraudulently hold yourself out as a bar-certified lawyer, and you shouldn't (can't, according to those laws) give people advice about what they should do. (The latter makes sense in a narrow sense: Besides what the law means, and what past cases have found, to actually advise people, you should know what the local custom, practices, probabilities, leanings, etc. the local judges and prosecutors have. That is separate from talking about the law or your own experience or analysis / opinions. First amendment rules there. That's the best I can understand the real legal line for conduct.) People aren't confused about who is a doctor just because they suggest that you eat better, get exercise, and take Ritalin or whatever. It is a ridiculous abuse of the public to enact laws so clearly designed to prevent sharing of information to protect blessed professionals.

Comment: Widespread interest (Score 5, Informative) 187

by sdw (#39165437) Attached to: Google+ Unblocked In China; President Obama's Page Flooded With Comments

Interesting how much of the world is interested in our politics.
Several years ago, I was walking around Porvoo, Finland, taking pictures. I talked to a few teenagers doing skateboard tricks. In their perfect English, they were very curious how we could have elected Bush II twice. It's all they wanted to talk about.

Comment: Re:Not exactly (Score 1) 496

by sdw (#34217442) Attached to: Facebook Postings Lead To Arrest for Heresy In the West Bank

1st amendment to the US Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The constitution restricts the government. Hamas is acting as a government, not a corporation.
Conflating corporations with government would be bad: Corporations are people. Your suggestion that "all corporations and individuals would be also bound to respect it" implies that people would be restricted in their religious choices. In a broad sense, this conflicts with the 1st amendment.


Immaculate Conception In a Boa Constrictor 478

Posted by samzenpus
from the gold-frankincense-and-mice dept.
crudmonkey writes "Researchers have discovered a biological shocker: female boa constrictors are capable of giving birth asexually. But the surprise doesn't end there. The study in Biology Letters found that boa babies produced through this asexual reproduction — also known as parthenogenesis — sport a chromosomal oddity that researchers thought was impossible in reptiles. While researchers admit that the female in the study may have been a genetic freak, they say the findings should press researchers to re-think reptile reproduction. Virgin birth among reptiles, especially primitive ones like boas, they argue may be far commoner than ever expected."

Too much of everything is just enough. -- Bob Wier