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Comment Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 823

Unless you're blind, or happen to be looking the other way when the drunk in a prius bears down on you. Which is why some sort of fake engine noise will eventually be mandated (if it hasn't been already).

When you're in front of a car, you don't hear much engine noise. Especially since there is very little load on the engine at speeds fast enough to hurt people (unless they're testing their 0-60 time). What you DO hear is road noise from the tires, which is not any different between electric and ICE vehicles.

The Nissan Leaf, for instance, makes an artificial electric vehicle noise until about 20 mph... after that you wouldn't be able to hear the fake engine noise over the wind and tires. Go listen to one drive around a parking lot though, and you'll mostly hear it leaving.

I'm kind of against the noise in general, as I don't think many blind people are being saved by the artificial noise (but rather from aids, the real sounds, etc), and short of the driving honking, some fake engine noise isn't going to save you from a drunk prius bearing down on you.

Comment Re:Of course they don't need the full spectrum (Score 1) 80

I was talking with someone who gave additional reason to cut cord from Comcast is HD from OTA is far superior than on cable which is highly compressed to transmit all those channels down the coax.

I long suspected Cox cable re-compressed our local stations, but then found out all the stations are sharing 2 HD stations per transmitter, some with an extra SD subchannel. So even over the air, all my locals are less than 9 Mbps. Cox has the dirty work done for them already, and just sends out the same signal.

Comment Quality Loss Depends (Score 1) 80

In my area, many of our OTA network stations share a channel (due to financial issues, not to free up spectrum). Fox/ABC, CBS/CW, NBC/myTV.

I think most programs have no issues with 12+ Mbps, which usually leaves room for a SD sub-channel. However, shoving two HD programs into a 6 MHz channel leaves each ~9 Mbps. Sports programs suffer significant blocking and pixelation on fast action and pans. Live shows such as America's Got Talent also block and pixelate. Studio shows fare better.

I believe the problem may vary based on market since, I assume, the broadcasts are re-compressed locally and we're at the mercy of the capability of whatever system my money-starved stations purchased. NBC and CBS are the worst here, and I'm not sure if it's their choice of compression hardware or just that 1080i suffers more than 720p.

So basically on these shared channels, you suffer from limited bandwidth, re-compression artifacts (going form 12-18 Mbps down to 9), and local hardware limitations (poor quality compressor, no pre-processing/single-pass only, etc).

Comment Re:Hormone therapy? (Score 1) 784

To be fair, the US prisons on that list were elaborate clean facilities, unlike most of the rest. One made the list for "brutal" guards, and the other for being so secure the prisoners want to kill themselves. Sounds like a different level of "bad" than rampant AIDS outbreaks or occasional massacres of the entire population.

Comment Stop getting junk mail (Score 1) 582

A lot of people are using this as an excuse to complain about all the junk mail they get. Why don't you do something about it? Cancel all the catalogs and crap you're getting.

Start here:

If you get stuff with pre-paid return envelopes, send back a note asking to be removed from their mailing list.

Comment Re:They include an adaptor for the EU (Score 3, Insightful) 543

If the EU had standardized on a free (no royalties) Lightning connector, everyone would be crying foul over government mandates and how it stifles innovation.

The goal was to get rid of large power bricks attached to proprietary connectors. Apple has for MANY years supplied a power plug with a standard USB connector and used the same cable/connector for 10 years. THAT has reduced waste. What other phone manufacturer has stuck with their plugs that long? How many phones will charge from a 10 year old cable?

What about all those phones that include a micro-USB port for charging, but then have ANOTHER port or a ANOTHER special proprietary cable to get audio/video out?

Comment Re:Nothing? (Score 1) 303

AT&T bought Cingular, honored the contract and here we are today.

Actually, Cingular bought AT&T Wireless, then renamed itself AT&T Mobility. Even though they spent all that money to come up with "Cingular", "AT&T" still had more brand power.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre