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Comment: Re:reasons this may not catch on in the US (Score 1) 533

by MobileTatsu-NJG (#30992706) Attached to: Electric Bicycles Surging In Popularity

Other fun experiences include people swerving around me...

What do you expect when you're a fragile obstacle riding erratically down the street at an unsafe speed putting yourself and every driver out there at risk?

I know this isn't going to be a popular opinion, but drivers have a side to this story, too. Bikes are too slow and virtually unprotected. The law says you can ride on the roads, which is fine, but it ignores the reality that sudden changes in speed on the motorway increase the odds of an accident. That's why it's worse to travel the speed limit than it is to travel at the speed the rest of traffic is moving at. The best part is, if we hit you, even if it's your fault, there's a serious risk that we get in trouble for it.

I don't mean to be insensitive. Nobody should treat you like that. But bicycles and cars do not mix. It's dumb that the law tries to put them on the same road. Dangerous, very dangerous.

Comment: Re:reasons this may not catch on in the US (Score 3, Informative) 533

by collywally (#30992700) Attached to: Electric Bicycles Surging In Popularity

I did the same thing with my bike. At first I would pedal my bike to work and back every day but I would always be working late and after a 14 hour day at work I would then have to pedal, mostly up hill, to get home. Then I would have to wait about 2 hours or so until my body would relax enough to get to sleep. I eventually got sick of this and decided to buy a kit for my bike. 750W motor and a 48v 20Ahr LiPo battery pack does the trick. I get about 40kms and I can go about 55kph without the speed limiter. I also don't have to pedal at all if I don't want to, even while going up hill. This setup can be illegal where I am if I unplug the limiter but that never happens ;) .

The big difference that I found is that I stopped running stop signs and I would actually stop when people were in a crosswalk instead of driving around them. When I was on my normal push bike I was always trying not to lose momentum since it was so hard earned with sweat and energy. But on the electric bike I don't care since it costs me nothing in effort to start from a complete stop. I'm much more aware of my surroundings which I'm sure is from not having to spend so much energy peddling. I realize that i'm now treating the ride as if I'm on a proper motorbike and I've been driving much safer because if it.

I charge the battery at work for the most part but even if I didn't electricity is about 5.91c a kWh where I live which ends up being practically free for me. And the guys I work with appreciate it much more now that I don't arrive covered in sweat.

The best part is all the bike lanes and paths we have here in Vancouver, BC. I can get almost anywhere without being in heavy traffic and most of the routes are on proper pavement. With the Olympics coming up and all the road closures that will come with it, the bike will be, by far, the best way to get around town.

The best/worst part about it is the other bikers swearing at me when I pass them going up the hill on the way home.

Comment: Re:Good story? (Score 1) 331

by grumbel (#30992578) Attached to: Review: <em>Mass Effect 2</em>

An actual, literal suicide mission.

Well, just because they labeled it that way doesn't make it true. Its basically just a "you don't know whats coming" mission. You actually can die, but you have to screw up pretty badly for that.

a major enemy in charge of them.

Saren was a much more interesting character then that random insect thing. Also there is basically no discovery going on, the main plot is "there are insect things, go kill them", no twists, no turns, thats it. Its extremely straight forward and all the interesting facts of the backstory you already know from part one.

The core problem with the game in terms of story is simply that its just to mechanical, you spend most of the time doing unconnected missions to collect your teammates and a tiny few relativly uninteresting main story missions in between. ME1 had a lot more interesting stuff going on.

Comment: Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (Score 1) 258

by Brian Gordon (#30988620) Attached to: Key EDS Witness Bought Internet Degree

Well, a job is ultimately just a lot of little papers good for furniture and hamburgers. If it's all a bit of paper, then what makes one better than the other?

Learning to think and to understand is what really matters in life, and university is the best place to do that.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 1343

by Belial6 (#30987710) Attached to: Students Failing Because of Poor Grammar
The cause for our failing education system is on every single level.

1) Parents that use the schools as babysitters, or worse yet, orphanages. The vast majority of parents have abdicated the raising of their children to the state. Very few of them really care if their child is learning. What they care about is if they get good grades. This leads to massive grade inflation as well as heavy pressure on the teachers to avoid conflict by just passing students. Hand in hand with that is that huge numbers of parents (most?) believe that if their kids are getting good grades, that the kids are learning. This belief goes so far as to make parents believe that if they pressure the teacher to give their kid a C instead of an F, then somehow the kid will have magically learned the material. I have actually had parents tell me that their school is obviously good because their kid is getting straight As. These beliefs allow parents to tell themselves that they fulfilled their responsibilities, and if their kid ends up stupid, it isn't their fault.

2) Teachers that are not even smart enough to do basic math. Their own advocacy groups show that they are in the top half of earners in almost every state. Yet, they constantly complain that they are in poverty. They don't seem to be able to do the math that shows they are well above average on an hourly scale. They also lie (even to themselves) about the number of hours worked. I have known many teachers, and none of them worked an inordinate number of hours, except for the few language teachers that regularly assigned essays.

Teachers like to talk big about how well educated they are and how they spend 40 hours a week and three months a year outside of school hours to make lesson plans. If they are spending that much time over and over again, they are simply incompetent. With all of that effort, they should also have written plenty of material that buying books would be totally unnecessary.

Right here on on Slashdot, we regularly get stories about how technology doesn't get used well in schools because teachers are unable or unwilling to learn how to use it. These are supposed to be professionals in learning. If they cannot learn better and faster than average, they are obviously unqualified for their jobs.

3) Teachers Unions Teachers Unions are a business. They have to keep teachers dissatisfied with their jobs to stay in business. People in any field that are dissatsified are going to do a worse job. The Unions are one of the biggest factors in making teachers believe that they are underpaid.

4) Administrators that cannot properly run and educational institution. Schools are run as a for profit business. The administrators (with support from the Teachers and Unions) place revenue above education. The fact that a student can pass a class without knowing the material just by showing up so the school can collect money, while a student that takes a three week vacation, but knows the material inside and out fails, shows that education is not the administrations concern.

5) State Politicians take the "not enough money is spent" stance because they can say what everyone knows, without blaming anyone for the problem. The problem being poor education. Here in California, the single largest line item in our state budget is public education, yet we consistantly hear that lack of money is the reason our schools suck. By blaming money, they get to bow to special interest like Teachers Unions, without having to fix the problem.

6) Federal Politicians. While I have not personally heard Obama make any anti-education comments, while Bush was the President Of The United States, he referred to the kids that did well in school as "The Nerd Patrol" in a nationally televised speech.

Each and every one of these groups will point fingers and make the correct statement that it is one of the other groups that is failing in our educational system. Unfortunately, that is a lie of omission. The failure is happening on every level. There is plenty of money being spent on education. That scapegoat is the one thing that isn't the problem. Heck, in my city, there is enough money for one of the local high schools to have a heated pool with an amusement park style water slide, but they still complain that they don't have enough money for books.

To see the general feeling about the purpose of our school system, all you have to do is look at the many debates here on Slashdot (supposedly an intellectual group)about home schooling. The vast majority of posters take the stance that education is at best a secondary role of our school system. That socialization is the primary purpose.

Comment: Re:Well, now we'll restart the F-22 (Score 1) 418

by LWATCDR (#30985988) Attached to: Russian Stealth Fighter Makes Its First Flight

No you can ask for a reference politely if you can not find one yourself.
In this case it would have taken typing in Russian drone shutdown to get the video of the Russian MIG shooting down the drone.
The other references where found on Wikipedia with frankly just a little effort.
But in this case the original poster made claim that was outside of common sense. I gave him examples that are all over the internet and the news. Then I get a snotty demand for references.
Folks just do a Google or at least be polite.
Doesn't matter because the idiot is now claiming that the combat I referenced where too far in the past or just doesn't count.
Doesn't matter I should know better than to bother trying to educate people that are ignorant experts.

Comment: Its not the Super Bowl, it's "The Big Game" (Score 1) 560

by alen (#30985368) Attached to: Will Your Super Bowl Party Anger the Copyright Gods?

you need a license from the NFL to call it the Super Bowl. If you haven't noticed most of the TV commercials call it The Big Game because they don't want to pay royalties to the NFL

since /. takes advertising i'm going to report this evil website so the NFL can sue you out of existance. you just cost them eleventy billion $$$$ in lost sales

Comment: Re:65, and not portable. (Score 1) 430

by hedley (#30985296) Attached to: My keyboard has X-many keys; X=

Awesome kbd. Nice choice. I have 3, the original HH and 2 HH2 lites. I see the PS2 one is EOL now. I have 2 PS2s and 1 USB.

The Sun layout is key. No doubt you are an Emacs user. The Sun layout is in my mind, the only one that makes that work without RSI issues. (been using Emacs since 79 and no hand issues as long as the control and esc are in the right spot).

Hedley

Comment: Re:And this is how we die (Score 1) 1343

by rrohbeck (#30983422) Attached to: Students Failing Because of Poor Grammar

Most of your tuition is paid for by the good taxpayers of Germany who presumably view a well-educated citizenry as an overall win relative to the cost involved.

...as opposed to the US, where you can be successful despite being uneducated. Just look at some leading politicians... as opposed to e.g. Angela Merkel, who is a Physics PhD.

Comment: Re:Is it because of the decline of paper media? (Score 1) 1343

by ucblockhead (#30981488) Attached to: Students Failing Because of Poor Grammar

See, the thing is that everyone compares all the people around them with the books they read from fifty years ago. But what do those books written fifty years ago have in common with each other? They were published by people who thought the authors were good with language and were then put through the wringer of an editor.

I suspect that if you looked at the personal letters of the average person of fifty years ago, you'd find equally abysmal grammar and spelling.

The other thing the modern world *has* done is allowed anyone to spread their words far and wide. It isn't that people in general are any worse. It's that people used to only see the very best.

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