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Comment: Re:The backup-camera rule (Score 1) 256

by snsh (#47769715) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

"VERY FEW accidents involve a driver backing up and hitting cars/kids"

That should be "very few FATAL accidents involve a driver backing up and hitting cars/kids". I think the national total is around a dozen fatalities a year. On the other hand, scuffed and dented bumpers are probably a daily occurrence and many malls, parking garages, and city streets around the country. Heck, just look at the bumpers of your own car and count the dings.

Comment: The backup-camera rule (Score 1) 256

by snsh (#47768789) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

Is this the same DOT that for years defied US legislation mandating backup-cameras becoming standard equipment in vehicles?

In 2008, Congress passed a law (signed by GW Bush) requiring the DOT/NHTSA to put together rules requiring backup-cameras in cars. The law set a deadline of 2011 for the DOT. And 2011 was just a deadline, so they could have implemented the rule in 2009 if they wanted. Instead they put off the setting the rule until just about six months ago in 2014. It won't be finalized until 2015 and won't take effect until 2018.

The reason DOT dragged their feet? The stated reason was that they needed more time to calculate the cost-benefit ratio of prevented deaths caused by cars backing up. Never mind that Congress already decided that matter, and that most of the measurable benefit is not going to come from personal injury, but from property damage averted when you don't dent your car backing out a parking spot because you can see how much space is behind you in the video-monitor. The unstated reason is that mandatory backup cameras would cost PROFIT for Detroit auto manufacturers.

And keep in mind these are lousy backup cameras which are mature, uncontroversial, and easy-to-implement tech. This V2V tech is still under development.

So what's the deal with this rush to mandate V2V? Is this Obama trying to establish legacy?

Comment: Trailer not HFR? (Score 1) 156

by snsh (#47562943) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

It's too bad the trailer is not being released in 48fps HFR just in ordinary 1080p. My local theater is on the HFR list, and showed Journey in HFR but got so much negative feedback that they didn't do a single screening of Smaug in HFR. The next closest HFR-capable theater to me is 3 hours away.

Since the online trailer is just about the only chance most folks will have to see any of the films in HFR, it's a shame that it's not been made available.

Comment: Make watches thinner (Score 1) 427

by snsh (#47319933) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

Watches are still way too thick. You still can't find a digital watch (except for some ridiculous e-ink devices) less than 5mm thick.

While they're at it, why do dial watches still have crowns? You should be able to hold them up to a computer screen to set the time and date like those old databank watches. All they need is a sensor or solar cell and a tiny bit of logic.

Comment: Alito voted against the cops? (Score 5, Interesting) 249

by snsh (#47316955) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Cell Phones Can't Be Searched Without a Warrant

During his confirmation hearings, Ted Kennedy noted that Sam Alito "never saw a police search he didn't like."

Alito wrote up his own opinion on this decision, not-quite agreeing with the rest of the bench, but still voting against this particular search. I guess there's a first for everything.

Comment: Re:Little known MIT fact (Score 1) 264

by snsh (#46898919) Attached to: An MIT Dean's Defense of the Humanities

They require you to take 8 subjects, of which several are distributed among predefined categories. I believe they discontinued the most ridiculous requirement of having a specific HUM-D/HASS-D subset of 20 or so subjects which were frequently oversubscribed because everyone in the school had to take ~three subjects from that subset. Those HASS-D subjects often covered obscure topics like "fairy tales".

Years and years ago, MIT's humanities department had a simple mission to "teach these nerds something about civilization" but since then it's grown and tries to compete with Harvard. They give out minors and majors. From what I've seen, half the the students who major/minor in HASS do it on top of a STEM degree, since it's not that hard to complete the extra subjects if you work efficiently. The other half of HASS majors are mostly dropouts from STEM courses.

Comment: My biggest gripe (Score 0) 338

by snsh (#46874031) Attached to: How the USPS Killed Digital Mail

USPS is still about 15 years behind in adopting the Internet. Today in 2014 you still cannot go online and print out a stamped (or unstamped) first class envelope or address label. You still have to fill out silly ink forms to send mail certified, registered, or proof of mailing. USPS has self service kiosks in a few post offices, but not any supermarkets. It's far easier to get a zipcode from a search engine than

USPS needs to just buy for a billion dollars or whatever they're worth, and make it a free service available to the public.

We can predict everything, except the future.